There is one meal which, for me, signals the start of Autumn. My father used to grow very large vegetable marrows and mother used to store them throughout the winter under the pantry shelf hanging in string bags from hooks. They kept very well. But she always kept one for a meal right at the beginning of the season, and we had a stuffed marrow. I still do it every year and I still use my mother's recipe. It is one of my very favourite meals, not least because it conjures up happy memories of my childhood.
We don't grow them, but I happened to spot one in the supermarket the other day. We had it for lunch on Sunday, with broad beans from our garden (my mother always did the two together) and followed it with the last of our raspberries with vanilla ice cream.
If anyone wants to try it - here is my mother's recipe:
6 good quality sausages, skins removed. Diced pancetta.
1 good sized onion.
a good quantity of chopped sage, thyme and parsley.
Chop the onion small and gently fry it in a little olive oil until it is cooked. Mix with the sausage and pancetta - best to do with your hands to get it all well mixed together. Then add the herbs and do the same, so that you have a good mix.
Slice the marrow into thick slices, discarding the ends. Peel and core. Lay in a non stick tin and stuff each one with a generous handful of the sausage mix
Cook in a hot oven (as I use the Aga I can't really say temperatures), but it is important to get the sausage mixture cooked thoroughly. The marrow will take care of itself.
These rings are good eaten hot or cold.