Weekly Winner: A Self-Contained Summer Supper

tomatoesI am generally not a fan of stuffed vegetables.  I find that the vegetable that is being stuffed is usually either terribly overcooked and soggy, or not cooked at all.  If its overcooked, the whole thing tends to fall apart, and if it isn’t cooked enough it is messy and impossible to eat.  Then I came across this recipe for stuffed tomatoes and suddenly all is right with my world.

For one thing it is the height of summer and the tomatoes are fabulous.  This recipe definitely calls for big, meaty beefsteak tomatoes.  Then there’s the fact that you use the entire tomato.  After hollowing it out, you use the tomato “innards” for the sauce.  I like that.  Then there’s the fact that basically everything is mixed and chopped up in the food processor — easy!  And finally, my favorite thing about this recipe is that the combination of all ingredients makes the final product taste like a pizza topping.  Bonus!  Oh yeah, and it’s pretty!!  And who doesn’t like a pretty dinner?  That’s a win-win-win-win!

OK, enough raving — here’s the recipe which comes from Food Network Magazine.  Trust me, if you’ve been disappointed with other stuffed veggie dishes, this is your recipe.  Or even if you haven’t been disappointed with other recipes, you might be after trying this one!  Either way, you’re guaranteed one tasty, pretty, summer supper!

Sausage-and-Basil-Stuffed Tomatoes

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
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced, plus a handful of celery leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups bread cubes (from about 1/2 baguette)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


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 sausage, herbes de Provence, bell pepper, onion, diced celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the sausage browns, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage mixture and bread cubes to the food processor and pulse until chopped. 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.

Place the basil, walnuts, cheese and celery leaves in the food processor and chop. Sprinkle onto the tomatoes. 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.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Winner: A Second Scrumptious Stuffed Supper | Donna's Quick Qi
  2. Trackback: Weekly Winner:  Stuck on Stuffing Stuff — A Lighter Version | Donna's Quick Qi

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