Heritage tomatoes are all the rage right now, and justifiably so! Sweet, succulent, colourful and full of flavour, the quality of heritage tomatoes, also known as heirloom tomatoes, is outstanding and miles apart from generic, red store bought tomatoes. Heritage tomatoes, with such whimsical names as Green or Black Zebra, Green Sausage, Candy’s Old Yellow, German Red Strawberry and Beefsteak, don’t just make for a colourful meal, but an extraordinarily tasty one, too, as they offer the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity and give the dish a complex, layered aroma. The soft, luscious flesh and fragrant aroma of the tomatoes pair extremely well with the creamy goat’s cheese, delicate fresh thyme and the nutty saltiness from the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and tender Coppa with its rich and meaty aroma. Best enjoyed with a glass of crisp white wine, this is the ultimate dish to celebrate the end of the summer season!
For 3 stuffed tomatoes (1 portion)
3 mid-sized heritage (heirloom) tomatoes, mix of colours
3 slices of Coppa (cured meat from Northern Italy or Corsica, similar to prosciutto)
1 clove of garlic
4 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2-3 pieces of sundried tomatoes
75g soft goat’s cheese
For the sauce:
½ yellow and ½ red pepper
1-2 tsp. cornflour
100ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Pepper, sea salt to taste
What you’ll need:
Small mixing bowl
Deep (non-stick) baking tray, preferably made from silicone
- Take a sharp kitchen knife and, at an angle, carefully cut off the top (spare the stalk). Take a teaspoon and extract the juice sack (keep it for later).
- Finely dice the garlic and place and equal amount in each hollowed out tomato.
- Prepare the filling by combining soft goat’s cheese, diced sundried tomatoes, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, sliced Coppa, olive oil and a tablespoon’s worth of fresh thyme in a small mixing bowl. Stir well and use a teaspoon to evenly distribute the filling. Then, place the tomato tops back on the now stuffed tomatoes.
- Cut the peppers into chunks, as well as the juice sacks from the tomatoes. This will add a nice flavour to the sauce later. Place the tomatoes in the deep baking tray. Around it, scatter the pepper and tomato chunks. Add vegetable stock and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.
- Bake it the oven, middle rack, fan 170°C or gas mark 4, for about 20 minutes. Then, carefully put the stuffed tomatoes on a plate, take the baking tray with the pepper chunks and liquid inside and pour it in a bowl. Then, put the tomatoes back onto the tray and bake them in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, puree the pepper chunks together with the liquid. Then pass everything through a sieve. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it simmer. Stir in the cornflour to thicken the sauce, then add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dash of black pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the sauce on a deep plate, then place the baked tomatoes in the middle and drizzle some olive oil on top.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)
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