Last year, I had the trip of my life. I got to eat my way around Italy’s main capital cities. Learning about and tasting all the traditional dishes that make up the complexity of Italian regional cooking. Every region had its own culinary personality, each with its specific ingredients and cooking methods.
For the next few weeks, ROME is my Italian city of choice. I will be re-creating recipes that highlight the best in Roman cooking. Recipes that I feel will be fun and easy to replicate and cook a storm in your own kitchen.
One thing I definitely noticed during my week in the central Italian region, was that my diet consisted of far more meat than what was eaten in its southern counterparts. Rabbit, lamb, veal and pork were very popular in my dish selections. I found it fascinating to see such a culinary difference crossing the borders. However, during my recipe research back in London, I read about a great number of vegetarian dishes that I failed to taste during my visit of Rome and tested them back in my Peckham kitchen.
Here is this gorgeous recipe – STUFFED TOMATOES WITH RISOTTO. Perfect as a light lunch/dinner option or served up as a side dish for an Italian feast.
Roman Stuffed Tomatoes With Risotto (4-6 people)
- 6 tomatoes, large on the vine
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 100g risotto rice
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 50g pecorino, grated
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roman Stuffed Tomatoes With Risotto
- PRE-HEAT the oven to 180C and OIL the bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil.
- SLICE and REMOVE the tops of the tomatoes. With a teaspoon, carefully remove the seeds and soft insides of the tomatoes. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, FRY the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil, ADD the risotto and the tomato juices and seeds that you previously set aside. Slowly, POUR the stock until the rice is cooked very al dente (still has a slight bite to it)
- Remove the rice from the heat. ADD the pecorino and basil leaves. SEASON with salt and pepper and mix evenly all the ingredients together.
- Lightly SALT the inside of each tomato and FILL with the risotto filling. PLACE back the tomato tops.
- STAND the tomatoes in the oiled casserole dish. ADD a splash of water at the bottom of the dish.
- BAKE in the oven for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. REMOVE from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. SERVE at room temperature.