Fabio Viviani's Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
'Top Chef' Star's Pomodori Ripieni
Try the "Top Chef" star's family recipe for pomodori ripieni.
"When I was a little boy, in late May when the tomatoes were green my grandpa used to take me to the field and tell me, 'Fabio, pick the tomatoes that are ripe.' I was a horrible child, of course, and to fill my basket faster I picked everything from white to light-green tomatoes. Green tomatoes don't have a lot of flavor. Either you fry them, which is not really Florentine, or you carve them out, stuff them with ricotta and other tasty things, and bake them. The result is pure pleasure in your mouth -- the sour of the unripe tomato with the sweetness of the ricotta and the meatiness of cold cuts. And you get your serving of vegetables, too. You make kids happy, and you make Mom happy. Everybody wins. Except the tomato, of course."
Preheat the oven to the highest broiler setting.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the tomato flesh with a spoon and discard.
Combine the cheeses, meats, and olives in a bowl and mix well. Fill the hollowed-out tomatoes with the mixture, mounding the top. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each tomato and place in an oven-safe pan.
Place the tomatoes under the broiler, and broil for 10–12 minutes, until they are golden brown and crusty.
Remove and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
NOTE: To make sausage crumbles, buy Italian sausages, open the casings, and sauté the meat, breaking it up into little pieces.
Adapted from FABIO'S ITALIAN KITCHEN by Fabio Viviani. Copyright © 2013, VF Legacy, LLC. Published by Hyperion in April 2013. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.