Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice
Pomodori Ripieni Di Riso
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes with a very sharp knife and set them aside. With a small paring knife, cut the tomato pulp away from the skin making sure you do not cut the skin. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the loosened pulp and set aside. Salt the insides of the tomatoes with 2 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, turn them upside down and let them drain.
Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan set on high heat until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes, carrot, onion and celery. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once. Add the chopped garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Raide the heat to high, add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring well to coat with the other ingredients. Add the chopped parsley and stir. Add the boiling stock and stir again. Cover the pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add the 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 3/4 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil to the rice, stir well.
Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture, being careful not to overstuff or they'll break as the cook.
Strain the jiuce that has accumulated from the tomato pulp you scooped out earlier. You should have about 6-8 tablespoons of juice. Pour the strained juice in equal parts over the stuffed tomatoes and cover with the tomatoe tops.
Brush the bottom of a nonstick pan and the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil. Place them in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Cool the tomotoes to room temperature before you serve them. They always taste better the next day. Refrigerate them for up to 4 days, and let them come back to room temperature before serving.