Friday, 13 March 2009

Stuffed Tomatoes alla Romana

Stuffed Tomatoes alla Romana (Lazio)

This is one of my favourite dishes of all, especially during the summer season when nice big fat tomatoes are everywhere to be found. With a hearty serving this can make a good one pot dinner, or also good as a side/first course with some other main course. Another great thing about this dish is it tastes also great at room temperature, so you can make this ahead of time when you have a company, or on a busy day.

4 large red, firm tomatoes*
160g parboiled rice
3 large cloves of garlic. minced or chopped
generous handful of chopped flat leaved parsley
salt & pepper
4-6 potatoes, depending on the size, to fill the gap of the baking tray
Extra Virgine Olive Oil
garlic powder
rosemary, either small sprigs or powdered

1. Using a fine sharp knife cut off the top of the tomatoes, cutting deeper into the centre, making a cone like / fat pencil tip shape, making an opening wide enough to insert your tool to scoop out the inside. Set the tops aside.
2. Scoop off the inside of the tomatoes to make cups, taking care not to poke or break open the surface, putting the inside of tomatoes and put into a bowl.
3. Mix the uncooked rice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl.
4. Scoop the mixture into the tomatoes, leaving enough space to put the top back on.
5. Arrange the tomatoes in the centre of a fair sized baking dish.
6. Peel the potatoes and cut into dices.
7. Put the potato cubes in a bowl, coat the potatoes evenly with olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary and salt.
8. Arrange the potatoes around the tomatoes in the baking dish.
9. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
10. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 45-50 minutes, until tomatoes, rice and potatoes are tender.
11. Take off the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes take on a golden colour and the surface becomes crisp.

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