Stuffed Tomatoes with Tuna Sauce
Pomodori Arrosti Ripieni Di Tonno
4 medium tomatoes (3 1/2 to 4 inches wide)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 reaspoon red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons drained capers
1/4 cup pitted Greek or Sicilian black olives, coarsely chopped
1 (14 1/4 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, drained, chopped and juices reserved separately
1/2 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 (6 ounce) can water-packed white tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 recipe Tuna Sauce (see page 226)
Slice the tops off the tomatoes and reserve. Using a very sharp paring knife, remove and discard the ribs and seeds from the insides of the tomatoes, being very careful not to puncture the skin. Sprinkle the salt inside the tomatoes and place them upside down on paper towels to drain for 10 minutes.
In a large saute pan set on medium-high heat, cook the olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic for 1 minute. Add the onion, capers and olives anc cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring well. Stir in the drained tomatoes, rice, sugar, vinegar and tuna and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the served tomato juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. At this point, most of the juices should be absorbed by the rice, which will be just tender. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, stir in the peas and cheese and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the bottom and sides of 8 x8 inch baking dish and the drained tomatoes with the remaining olive oil. Lightly stuff the prepared tomatoes with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Don't stuff them too tightly or they'll split during cooking. Place the tops on the tomatoes.
Bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately with 2 tablespoons of Tuna Sauce on the side (and more available in a sauceboat, because your guests will always ask for more!). I also recommed this dish for picnics and buffets, because it's delightful served at room temperature.
©2015 Nick Stellino Productions