Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Herbed Rice
- SERVINGS: 12
The combination of sweet tomatoes and fresh herbs in this recipe captures the essence of southern Italy.
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (3/4 pound)
- 12 medium tomatoes
- 3 anchovy fillets, mashed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the rice over high heat until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain the rice thoroughly and transfer it to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, cut off the top fourth of each tomato; reserve the tops. Using a melon baller and working over a bowl, hollow out the tomatoes. Pass the tomato pulp, seeds and juices through a food mill fitted with the fine disk.
- In a bowl, mash the anchovies with the butter. Stir the anchovy butter into the hot rice, then mix in the tomato puree, cheese, red pepper, basil and parsley. Season the rice and the hollowed-out tomatoes with salt and pepper. Stuff each tomato with 1/3 cup of the rice. Put the tops on the tomatoes and transfer to an oiled roasting pan. Bake for 30 minutes, basting with the pan juices; the tomatoes are done when they are tender and the rice is warm. Serve warm.