There’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal and for Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, no dish felt more like ‘comfort food’ to her as a child than her mother’s stuffed tomatoes .
Filled with rice and herbs, and topped with gooey cheese, this dish is a family favorite for good reason.
De Laurentiis calls his mother’s dish ‘comforting’
On his lifestyle and food blog Giadzythe Simply Giada star remembered the dish that her mother regularly prepared, much to the delight of her family. Not only was it comfort food at its best, but it was also good for them.
“When I think of comfort foods from my childhood, these rice-stuffed tomatoes come to mind right away,” De Laurentiis wrote. “It’s a signature dish of my mum, Veronica – it has lots of simple, comforting flavors, and it has a great stick quality to your ribs while still being quite healthy. It’s also a great way to get people eating kids tomatoes – stuffed with rice, surrounded by potatoes and topped with cheese if you like!”
The Food Network personality adds that these tomatoes make “a great main course or hearty side.”
And if you want a vegan lunch option, leave out “the parmesan.” …This is a great recipe to have on hand if you have company that comes with dietary restrictions! »
This recipe from the De Laurentiis family is a cinch to make
The chef begins by cutting off the top of each tomato as if it were a lid and pouring “the flesh of the tomatoes” into a bowl, as she puts it in the Food Network video, below. She recommends using beefsteak tomatoes for this dish: “You want a big tomato to do this with.”
In the bowl with the tomato pulp, she adds whole garlic cloves, dried oregano and basil. She mixes the olive oil and salt, pouring the contents of the bowl “into the blender and we’re going to mash it all up.”
De Laurentiis returns the now blended pulp mixture to the bowl, stirring in arborio rice. She places the hollowed-out tomatoes in a 13 x 9 dish filled with potato chunks, seasoning the tomatoes. “Just take the filling and fill the tomatoes, almost to the top,” she said.
Once they are filled, the dish is placed in a 375 degree F oven and baked for over an hour.
If desired, sprinkle grated Parmesan over the tomatoes and potatoes before serving.
You can find the full recipe, video and reviews on the Food Network website.
Critics praised De Laurentiis mother’s simple and delicious recipe
Easy to prepare and fun for kids to eat, the chef’s recipe has been a hit with many reviewers.
” It was fantastic ! Oh and the house smelled great while it cooked! I will definitely be printing it out to add to my cookbook. Thank you, Giada!” wrote a home cook.
Another said it was a delicious option for non-meat eaters: “It was a great recipe…super easy to make…to put in the oven…I’m still looking [for] great vegetarian recipes for my son!!!! It was a success for the whole family…”
Finally, a fan of the recipe raved: “It was exceptional! Very simple but so delicious also gluten free.”
RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis begged her mum to let her come home from culinary school in France: ‘I was so desperately alone’