Tomatoes Stuffed With Sausages, Rice and Cheese

One of my best pals came to visit last weekend, and I grilled her on her go-to recipes. She’s one of the best cooks I know, so whenever we are together I try to steal (lovingly borrow?) what’s new in her repertoire so that I can shamelessly call it my own.

These tomatoes are a modified version of Mark Bittman’s. When I made them, Chris asked, “Why I was being so nice to him.”

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He lives a TORTURED life normally. Anyway, he loved these so much he said that he will “request them on his birthday.” They are actually easy peasy lemon squeezy to make (and you could do a whole SLEW of fun stuff inside), so I don’t think he will have to wait until January to have them again.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Sausages, Rice and CheeseIMG_3840

You’ll need:

  • 4-6 firm tomatoes
  • 16 oz spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I added a little Earth Balance, salt and olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Smidge of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Chopped basil

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Heat the oven to 450.
  2. Slice off 1/4 from the smooth end of the tomato (where it attached to the vine). Reserve those slices. Scoop out the fleshy inside of the tomato, leaving a wall.
  3. Discard the center and seeds, but chop up the pulp .
  4. Mix the pulp with the sausage, rice, garlic, salt and pepper, and half of the mozzarella.
  5. Salt and pepper the inside of the tomatoes and stuff with the sausage mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese, a little balsamic and breadcrumbs. Add the top slices back on.
  6. Spread half of the olive oil in a baking pan and lay your tomatoes there. Salt and pepper those bad boys.
  7. Cook for 30-40 minutes, checking that the sausage is no longer pink before you remove. Add fresh basil right before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

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