Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Go stuff it

I found a recipe in the New York Times last Wednesday for Tomatoes Stuffed With Pasta Salad, and seeing as I've never stuffed anything in my life but my own belly, I decided to give it a whirl!

I've modified the recipe a bit since four large tomatoes were not nearly enough to use up all the pasta salad (but the stuff is good on its own, so no real loss there). I used green pepper and yellow tomatoes instead of yellow pepper and red tomatoes, so feel free to play around with your veggie color palette - that's often the best part of cooking.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Pasta Salad

- 6 large tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 1 pepper, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
- 12 black olives (nicoise), pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed in warm water
- 12 basil leaves, chopped
- pinch of dried oregano
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425 deg. Slice off top third of each tomato. Scoop out the center and chop it, along with top third. Salt inside of the tomatoes and turn them upside down while you continue.

2. Cook pepper in a tablespoon of oil with half the garlic, until soft. Break spaghetti into bits and cook in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.

3. Mix together the chopped tomato, cooked pepper, spaghetti and all other ingredients except mozzarella. Stuff tomatoes with cheese first, then tomato mixture. Put in an oiled baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes, till hot.

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