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These rice stuffed tomatoes are a classic Italian recipe, they can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before dinner.
They are a great option for vegetarian, celiac and even vegan as the cheese is an optional ingredient.
The rice to use is Carnaroli rice, which is the same type of rice used for risotto.
The rice will be crunchy outside and soft and creamy inside, that is why the type of rice is very important.
It cooks in the oven as a pilaf rice, but there is no need to add any stock.
The rice cooks with the water from the tomato juices, so make sure the tomatoes are juicy and that all the juice is kept inside the tomatoes or with the filling.
While cooking the rice absorbs the flavor of the fresh tomatoes, the basil, and the extra virgin olive oil.
Using good and fresh ingredients is very important for this recipe.
In this recipe, I use provola cheese, but you can use mozzarella and even add some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
For more recipes made with fresh summer tomatoes, you can check the recipes below.
They are a combination of recipes using with all the typical Summer flavors of the Mediterranean countries.
Italian Rice Stuffed Tomatoes
- 11 medium tomatoes make sure they are juicy
- 3 cup rice carnaroli
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1 cup Parmesan or mozzarella cheese Optional for vegan/vegetarians option
- 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
- 5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Put the tomatoes into a baking plate, cut the tops and keep them aside
- With a spoon scoop out the inside of the tomatoes. Leave inside the tomatoes any juices that remain.
- Season the tomatoes with salt and some olive oil
- In a separate bowl chop the inside of the tomatoes.
- Season with olive oil and salt
- Add the rice
- Add the parmesan or the mozzarella cut in cubes
- and add the chopped basil leaves
- Mix all well
- Fill the inside of the tomatoes with the rice mix
- Spread the remaining rice around the tomatoes
- Sprinkle with olive oil
- Put back the tomatoes tops and sprinkle with some more olive oil
- Bake in the oven at 180 C - 350 F for 45 minutes until the rice is nicely browned
- Enjoy warm