Stuffed Tomatoes

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November 4, 2016

Stuffed Tomatoes - or Pomodori al riso as they’re known in Rome. Stuffed anything sounds terribly retro but what goes around comes around and these have many laps left to run. Essentially a risotto in a tomato but because there is less liquid the rice acquires a lovely nutty texture as it bakes in the oven.


8 ripe, firm, fleshy, medium‑size tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

20 fresh basil leaves

120g risotto rice

100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the potatoes

60g parmesan or pecorino


1Cut the tops off the tomatoes and set them aside. Scoop out the insides – flesh, seeds, and juice – into a bowl. Sprinkle a little salt in the cavity of each tomato and then put them cut-side down on kitchen towel so excess water can drain away.

2Pass the tomato flesh, seeds and juice through a food mill or sieve, or mush it with your hands, pulling out any hard bits.

3Rip the basil into small pieces and add it to the tomato juice.

4Fry the onion in a tbsp. of oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated.

5Add the tomato juice, and the rest of the olive oil and gently simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper and set aside for at least 45 minutes.

6Sit the empty tomato husks in a lightly greased oven-proof dish. Spoon the rice mix into the shells so they are ¾ full, then put the lids back on. Bake at 180°C oven for about 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and starting to shrivel.

Best served lukewarm