sicilian stuffed tomatoes / Pomodori ripieni siciliani

Sicilian stuffed tomatoes / Pomodori ripieni siciliani

Antipasti are Italian for appetizers: a savoury beginning to the meal. Many antipasti can also do service as a light secondo piatto or second course. A staple of summer picnics and tavole calde, baked tomatoes, onion and herbs, make for a simple and relatively quick weekend dinner, part of a buffet or a tasty antipasto for a summer dinner for guests. The ingredients are packed with vitamins and give a great combination of flavour and a healthy part of a meal.

Credit: Adapted from a recipe in the book “Italian 100 Everyday Recipes”, published by Paragon Books and featured on the blog:


    Ingredients: Makes 8
  • 8 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 white or yellow onions, very finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 115 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp black and green olives, stoned and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley; stems removed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 115 g freshly grated vegetarian cheese of your choice


  1. Cut a thin slice off the stem side top of the tomatoes. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard, taking care not to pierce the shells. Turn the tomato shells upside down on the kitchen paper to drain.
  2. Next, heat up 90 ml of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and the garlic, add a little salt and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stir often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, olives and herbs, return to the hob and warm through on a low heat stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  3. Using a spoon, fill the tomato shells with the breadcrumb mixture and firm with a finger. Coat an ovenproof dish, large enough to hold them in a single layer, with olive oil and pre-warm it in the oven.
  4. Place the tomatoes in the pre-warmed dish and sprinkle the tops with grated cheese, drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and bake them for about 20-30 minutes on 180°C (350°F), 160°C Fan, Gas 4. As soon as they look tender and the topping is golden brown, they are ready!
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately if serving hot or allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
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