This is a classic Roman dish that you’re most likely to find served in what we call a pizzeria al taglio (a pizzeria that sells take-out pizza in square or rectangular slices) and rosticceria (a deli shop that sells traditional ready-to-eat food). This is a vegetarian dish that you can prepare in advance. It’s best to use medium-sized tomatoes for this dish, preferably of the same size.

Tomatoes stuffed with rice (Pomodori ripieni di riso)

Ingredients

Serves 6
6 medium-sized tomatoes
100g arborio or carnaroli rice
1 clove garlic, cut in half
40g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
A handful of fresh basil leaves
A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
30g provola or asiago cheese, cut into 6 cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper

Preparation

Cut off the top of each tomato and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh and reserve it. Turn the tomatoes upside down
on an oven rack to drain.

Boil the rice in a large pan with salted boiling water. Make sure you keep track of your timing, because you will have to drain the rice 3 or 4 minutes before the recommended cooking time.

Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Heat a frying pan with two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and gently sweat the garlic. Remove the garlic when it
starts to brown. In a food processor, blend the tomato flesh with the basil, parsley and oregano and pour into the frying pan. Season with salt and cook for S minutes on a low heat.

Drain the rice, pour it into a bowl and mix with the tomato sauce Add the parmesan and mix well. Using a teaspoon, stuff the tomatoes halfway with the rice and top with a cube of provola and finish stuffing with the rice Place the tomatoes on an oven tray, on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle the rice with a drop of olive oil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

Then do as the Romans do and serve your stuffed tomatoes with roast potatoes.

Tomatoes stuffed with rice

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