This one is so simple, we were unsure whether to even call it a recipe. And yet nothing says summer meal like pomodori al riso. However, it is essential that the tomatoes are delicious and full of flavor, or you’ll get tasteless cooked rice.
Large red Tomatoes (there were none available for this note, so we went with smaller ones as you can see in the photos)
Rice (short grained, like risotto, is best if available)
1. Remove and discard the stem and upper core of the tomatoes with a knife. Then cut a “lid” off each tomato but keep these.
2. Scoop out the pulp from each tomato with a spoon, being careful not to break each tomato “shell.” Place all the pulp in a mixing bowl and the tomatoes in a baking pan.
3. Add one teaspoon of tomato paste (per each tomato) to the pulp in the mixing bowl as well one rounded tablespoon of rice per tomato (plus one for the pot). Chopped garlic, chopped basil, and salt to taste.
4. Drip some olive oil in each tomato, and then spoon mixture back into them. Place a basil leaf on top of each filled tomatoe, and one in the lid as well. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over all the closed tomatoes for good measure.
5. Cook in oven on medium heat for an hour and a half until rice is done, occasionally basting the tomatoes in the oil and juices from the baking pan.
They’re too hot to eat immediately (it is summertime after all), so pomodori al riso in Italy are usually baked in the morning and then eaten later or they are done at night once everyone has cleared out of the kitchen and then eaten the following day.
Also, running the oven in summertime is brutal, so make a large batch! That said, even cold straight from the refrigerator, they won’t last long no matter how many you make.