The recipe for these rice stuffed tomatoes with potatoes comes from Signora Bucca, the mother of “mi amor”. She is one of Italy’s finest, unrecognised cooks. Preparing the same dish as your boyfriend’s mother can be risky, however this recipe is fail-safe.
Ingredients for 2 people
6 Tomatoes (Signora Bucca calls for “casalino” tomotoes, but any firm, medium/large tomato that are red and sweet would work well)
6 tbs of Arborio Rice (the same rice used for risotto)
Half a clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 gr of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 basil leaf, finely chopped
6 tbs of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Potatoes (enough to fill the spaces between the tomatoes in your roasting tray)
Wash the tomatoes. Slice off the tops – don’t throw these away, as you will use them later. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the tomato pulp and juice into a separate bowl, taking care not to pierce the skin of the tomatoes. Pass the scooped out pulp through a “tomato press” (if you don’t know what this is, see the photos above, or you could also use a fine-meshed sieve) and preserve the juice. You can discard the pressed pulp. Mix in the rice into the tomato juice along with salt to taste, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped parsley, basil, and garlic. Leave this to develop its flavours. Preheat your oven to 200° C. Wash, peel and chop the potatoes into cubes. Put them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from oxidisation. Place the hollow tomatoes in a roasting tray. Now we stuff them: using a spoon, add the rice mixture into the bowls of the tomatoes until just over half full. Ensure each tomato has liquid for the rice to absorb while cooking, but you don’t want the rice to be swimming. Drain the potatoes of water, and add them to the remaining tomato liquid (with a little extra salt and oil) and mix well. Nestle the potatoes in around the tomatoes and drizzle the liquid over everything. Place them in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are well-cooked.
This is an excellent main course, that can be served with a crispy salad in the summer or can follow a warm soup in the winter.