Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stuffed Tomatoes With Sausage, Basil And Mozzarella

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This was a specific request from my daughter when she saw the box of tomatoes that I had just purchased at Costco.  I have no idea where she had these before or whether this is Italian or something concocted by Italian Americans when they came to these shores.  All I know is that I couldn't find anything on the web or in my cookbooks that struck my fancy so I improvised.  I must say, in all humility, that I think I outdid myself.  Definitely a keeper for a first course or a light meal when our tomatoes are at their peak.

The recipe is very easy to halve if you are only serving two or four.  I made four tomatoes and I am looking forward to lunch tomorrow with the remaining two!

Serves 8


8 medium tomatoes, preferably with stems intact
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 
2 TB. chopped basil
1 small green or red bell pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, dice 
4 small clove garlic, minced
2 cups bread cubes (from about 1/2 baguette)
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese.  Extra for the top.


 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a serrated knife, slice off the top quarter of each tomato and reserve the tops. Scoop out the pulp from inside each tomato and transfer it to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cayenne to the food processor and process until smooth; pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, diced celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion and peppers translucent.  Add the sausage and cook until it browns, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.  Add the bread cubes,basil,  mozzarella and parmesan.  Pack the tomatoes with the sausage-bread mixture so the stuffing is domed on top. Put the stuffed tomatoes in the baking dish on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle the top with extra parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
Put the tomato tops, cut-side down, between the stuffed tomatoes. Bake until the stuffing is golden, about 20 minutes. Cover each tomato with a top and serve with the sauce.

Adapted extensively from Food Network
All photos Lindaraxa


  1. This looks really good -- but I agree with you doesn't look "real Italian -- more "American Italian"! But, hey, what's wrong with that? I'll definitely put these on my "must do" list for summer!

    1. It was very good. A great alternative to the ones stuffed with rice. Sometimes you gotta listen to your audience!

  2. You are so right. This would make a fabulous lunch. A must try for a tomato loving gal like myself.

    1. There is never such a thing as having too many tomato recipes, right?

  3. This looks very good! Did you include the seeds and juice with the pulp for the sauce?

    1. Yes I did. This part was in the original recipe. I guess it steams them in the oven and keeps them moist while the crust browns.


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