If I lived on an island and could only pick 3 food items to live with, one of them would definitely be tomatoes. The other two would be chocolate and cheese. Although tomatoes are tastier when in season, I eat them all year round and in all their forms, from beefsteak to grape tomatoes. Today I bring to you a recipe where tomato is the star of the dish, Italian stuffed tomatoes.
This recipe is simple, you only need 6 ingredients. These stuffed tomatoes can serve as a side, but can also be served as a main since it includes ground pork. Add a simple salad and voila, you have a healthy tasty dinner that can be cooked in 30 – 40 minutes.
I made this for dinner this week, and even my son ate it. Booyah! It’s kid approved.
Since this recipe only requires half a pound of ground pork, I made little meat balls with the other half to go with a pasta dinner later this week.
You can prepare this meal a day ahead, refrigerate it without cooking the tomatoes. Simply pop it in the oven just before dinner and then serve.
As you can see, this stuffed tomatoes recipe only has 6 simple ingredients:
- Tomatoes – when you scoop out the flesh, make sure to have at least 1/2 inch around.
- Arborio rice – or use quinoa for a low carb option.
- Ground pork – or substitute with italian sausage or better yet use ground chicken for a lower fat option.
- Basil – Fresh is best, but dried or freeze dried will do as well.
- Garlic – same as basil, fresh is best, but you can use freeze dried in a pinch.
- Parmesan cheese – I put down 1/2 a cup, but let’s be real, I know I probably added more.
Ok, without further ado, here is my recipe:
Italian Stuffed Tomatoes
- 4 tomatoes
- ½ lb of lean ground pork
- ½ cup of arborio rice
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese, and extra for sprinkling
- 4 tbsp of fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
- Cook the rice in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
- While the rice cooks, brown the pork until fully cooked.
- Cut about ½ inch off the tops of the tomatoes, reserving the tops.
- Hollow out the tomatoes, reserving the pulp and juices.
- In a bowl, mix the pork, rice, ½ cup of the reserved tomato pulp and juice, basil, garlic and parmesan cheese.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a cooking dish, add a splash of olive oil the bottom, and place the 4 hollowed tomatoes.
- Fill each tomato with the pork mixture.
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top then cover with the tomato tops
- Cook for 20 minutes
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