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rice-stuffed tomatoes

Notes: 

As I mentioned above, you could deck these out with any number of compatible ingredients — crisped bits of proscuitto, mozzarella or pecorino cheese, olives or artichokes and more! Even I couldn’t resist straying from the pure tomato-rice-and-seasonings course with a clove of garlic and few tablespoons of minced onion, as well as a starchier risotto variety of rice. But I’m telling you, it needs none of these things to be late summer dinner bliss. The rice cooks inside the most clear-noted, pure tomato sauce you’ve ever scooped onto a fork and I want August to always taste like this.

Serves 6 as a side and 3 as a main. We had these with sausages, but they’d be equally good with last week’s kale salad and/or some salumi. Or, you can do this, which is the way it is done in Rome: Peel and cube a few Yukon gold potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange them in the baking dish around the tomatoes and bake them simultaneously. This not only keeps the tomatoes upright, it provides a delicious accompaniment.

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Ingredients: 

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or Kosher salt
6 medium-to-large (mine were 3 inches across, averaged 8 1/4 ounces in weight) tomatoes
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 medium or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
9 tablespoons arborio or another short-grained starchy rice
Few tablespoons chopped parsley, oregano or slivered basil (or mix thereof)
Handful breadcrumbs, if using (unless using gluten-free breadcrumbs, this will of course negate the dish’s gluten-free status)


 

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