Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, “Savoring Italy”, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).
During the summer months, ripe red tomatoes bursting with a rice stuffing are a staple antipasto of Roman trattorie. They can also be served as a first course.
- 1/2 cup medium-grain white rice such as arborio
- Salt, to taste
- 4 large tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add the rice and salt and simmer until the rice is about half cooked, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.
- 2 Preheat an oven to 350°F. Oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly.
- 3 Cut off a slice 1/2 inch thick from the top of each tomato and reserve. Using a small spoon, scoop out the tomato seeds and juice and place in a sieve set over a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish.
- 4 Add to the rice the strained tomato juice, the olive oil, chopped basil, parsley, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon the rice mixture into the hollowed-out tomatoes, dividing evenly. Cover each tomato with its top.
- 5 Bake until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with the whole basil leaves.
- 6 Serves 4.