Ricotta Stuffed Baked Tomatoes Topped with Pan Gratata

I served this for dinner a while back and am only now getting to posting it :). The recipe was inspired by several recipes I browsed at online. All in all, it’s a pretty simple dish to put together. And though I’m not exactly a fan on baked tomatoes, I definitely don’t mind eating this–or anything with ricotta and pan-fried breadcrumbs!

Serves 4 as a starter/side or 2 as a main.

Ricotta Stuffed Baked Tomatoes Topped with Pan Gratata

INGREDIENTS

2 medium tomatoes, halved, seeded and flesh scraped (Reserve 1 tbsp for later.)

Pan Gratata

1 cup day-old bread, cubed

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh rosemary

salt and pepper

a generous glug of olive oil

1/4 tsp grated lemon zest

Filling

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 tbsp parmesan, grated

a handful fresh basil, sliced thinly

salt and pepper, to taste

reserved 1 tbsp tomato flesh

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. For the pan gratata: Prepare the bread in the food processor until bread crumb-sized.
  3. In a heated pan, sauté the garlic and rosemary sprig in olive oil. When you can smell the garlic, add in the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté the bread crumbs until crisp and golden. Remove the rosemary and set aside. (If you dont like chunks of garlic, leave them whole and remove at the end.)
  5. For the filling: Combine all ingredients, stirring well.
  6. Assembly: Place the tomato halves into a baking dish. Spoon the ricotta mixture into each tomato half, pushing it in as firmly as you can. Top with the bread crumbs, pushing in with your fingers as well.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven until golden and the tomatoes are soft, but not collapsing (about 20 minutes). Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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