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Italian Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes

These Stuffed Tomatoes are juicy, cheesy, loaded with flavour and so simple to make!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 tomatoes
Calories: 449kcal
Cost: £2.50 / $3

Equipment

  • 8" x 12" Baking Dish (or similar size)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl and Hand Blender (or food processor/blender)
  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients

Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 6 large Beef Tomatoes (Beefsteak in US)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups / 100 - 150g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/3 cup / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 heaped tsp Pesto

Sausage & Rice

  • 14oz / 400g Sausage Meat (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 240ml Chicken Stock, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup / 100g uncooked Long Grain Rice
  • 1/4 cup finely diced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 small White Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to taste (optional)
  • Olive Oil, as needed

Instructions

  • Prep Tomatoes: Slice the tops off the tomatoes and keep to one side. Carefully slice out the centre of the tomato, making sure to keep the outside intact. Scoop tomato into a mixing bowl and pat the insides of the tomatoes dry. Blitz the tomato filling with a hand blender until smooth. Place to one side.
  • Sausage: In a large pan over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil with the diced onion. Fry until it begins to soften & pick up colour, then add garlic and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add in sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Continue frying/breaking up until browned and cooked right through. Stir in tomato paste and fry for 1-2mins.
  • Rice: Pour in the blended tomato, then add in rice, parsley, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Give everything a stir, then reduce to a simmer and gently stir every now and then until the rice is just about cooked (still a teeny bit hard). Gradually add in stock as needed until the rice reaches this point. I typically end up using around 1/2cup/120ml, but just use as much as you need to get the rice al dente (use water if you run out of stock).
  • Stuff Tomatoes: Add in a dollop of the sausage & rice, then a pinch of mozzarella, then finish with another dollop of sausage & rice. Gently push down and level off, then add the top of the tomato back on.
  • Bake: Add to a baking dish and pop in the oven at 180C/350F for 20-30mins, or until the tomato is tender, but still firm enough to stay intact. Keep an eye on them, if they start to crack then reduce the heat slightly, or if they're tender enough just remove them from the oven.
  • Cheese: Take the tops off the tomatoes then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan. Pop under the grill and broil until the cheese is golden.
  • Serve: Add a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of any leftover parsley you might have, then carefully remove from the dish and serve up!

Video

Notes

a) Sausage - If you can get Italian ground sausage that works best, if not just squeeze the meat from some Italian or herby sausages, if not just use regular sausage meat or the meat from some 'neutral' flavoured sausages.
b) Tomatoes - Beef tomatoes work best here, not only because they're so big, but also because they've got quite a thick 'wall', which prevents the tomato splitting in the oven. You can use other larger tomatoes, you might just need more than 6.
c) Rice - You'll find the rice almost cooks through with just the tomato juice, the chicken stock is merely to top this up and make sure the rice gets al dente. You want it mostly cooked, but still a teeny weeny but hard because it'll continue cooking in the oven. On the contrary, if you run out of stock just use water.
d) Calories - assuming 1.25cups/125g mozzarella is used. Calories per tomato:

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.41g | Protein: 19.77g | Fat: 30.92g | Saturated Fat: 11.953g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.636g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13.26g | Trans Fat: 0.048g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 984mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 5.94g | Vitamin A: 2037IU | Vitamin C: 31.6mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 2.44mg