Stuffed Tomatoes

This is a perfect example of how you can re-use your pasta sauces to create something which is equally as delicious. Normally I would just make enough pasta sauce to dress the pasta I am cooking, but for whatever reason I was left with plenty extra when I made this, so instead of freezing it, I decided to add my own twist to it and use two very plump beef tomatoes I had peeping at me from the fridge to create a new dish.

I find ricotta to be a very versatile ingredients. This creamy yet dry cheese is perfect in both savoury and sweet dish as it doesn’t have a strong flavour on its own, but it adds this wonderful creaminess to whatever it is used in and it marries beautifully with herbs, black pepper and Parmesan cheese (for a sweet version, try it with honey or jams). I used sausages in this recipe, but the equal amount of beef/pork mince with added herbs would work just as fine.

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Ingredients

  • 6 good quality herbs sausages, skin removed
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced.
  • 250g tub ricotta
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 3 beef tomatoes
  • 100g creamy cheese, such as a mild cheddar, cubed

Method

  1. First, prepare the tomatoes. Use a sharp knife to remove the tops, then scoop the flesh out with a teaspoon and discard. Set the now empty tomatoes on a baking try lined with parchment, drizzle with some olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes in a 180C oven, until softened.
  2. In the meantime, put the shallots in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and cook until softened, then add the sausagemat and brown all over, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree and stir again until fully combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Tip the sausage mixture into a bowl, then add the ricotta, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, then tumble 2-3 cubes of the creamy cheese inside and fit snugly at the bottom. Fill the tomatoes with the sausage filling, then top with the tomato top and roast for another 20 minutes, until piping hot.
  5. Serve with some salad or as a side dish.
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