Cooking time : 20 minutes for the stuffing and 30 to 45 minutes for the gratin.
Ingredients for 6 people :
1/2 a long marrow, the less bulbous end
75 grams of round camargue rice.
200 grams of sausage meat.
50 grams of grated cheese
2 or 3 eggs.
Salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, nutmeg, bread crumbs, olive oil.
Brown the onion cut into half slices and add the sausage meat, taking care to distribute it well in the pan. Add the salt, pepper, thyme flowers, chopped parsley, and 4 pinches (quarter teaspoon) of nutmeg. Allow to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Boil the rice for 10 minutes in salted water. Strain it and set it to one side. Peel the marrow and then cut it into large cubes which should be cooked with a branch of thyme for 12 minutes in a pressure cooker or 25 minutes in a saucepan. In a large open dish crush the marrow with a fork. It should become neither a puree nor be lumpy, but remain as filaments. Then add the rice and the cooked onion with its sausage meat and thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon.
Add the eggs into this stuffing, plus the grated gruyère and mix again until the stuffing is perfectly homogeneous. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Oil a large oval tian (earthenware gratin dish), one from Vallauris or Opio, and pour the gratin into it. Level the top with a fork and cover it with a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Moisten it with a dash of olive oil. Place it in the preheated oven at 200 degrees.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving so that the juices can penetrate to the interior.
Variation : The above recipe is from the central part of our region. In Nice we would probably add some greens, that is the green from a bunch of blanched (5 minutes) swiss chard cut into strips. In the mountains the marrow may be replaced by a pumpkin or alternatively the round courgettes which have become too big to stuff.
This is one of my favorite recipes, a summary of all the stuffed dishes which requires the minimum amount of work and a certain amount of skill. This dish is even better the next day reheated at a low heat and then regratined five minutes before serving.
Légende : marrow gratin, a real treat from the central district and which is typical of all the stuffed dishes.