Pomodoro e Riso – a Roman summer classic

With almost 30c degrees daily – we refuse to give up on summer cooking – new rule in the house – if you’re still in your shorts – well then you cook from the summer recipes. And the produce is just so perfect right now – ripe, sun kissed and full of flavour.

One of our favorite summer dishes to cook with our guests is the classic Roman Pomodoro e Riso. Traditionally a main course served with potatoes – we will like to enjoy the tomatoes on their own as an antipasto or as part of a little spread of delicious dishes to place in the middle of the table, and then everyone helps themselves to delicious food.

These tomatoes are always served luke warm – never straight out of the oven – the flavours gets so much better, when you leave them to rest a little. Feel free to add your favorite herb to the rice – we like a mix of parsley, basil, mint and marjoram – but one type would do just fine.

So all you need is:

6 medium tomatoes

150 g risotto rice

40 g butter, diced and at room temperature

50 g parmesan, grated

freshly grated nutmeg

handful of herbs, chopped

sea salt and black pepper

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Preheat your oven to 180c degrees.

Cut a lid of each tomato, where the stem has been attached. Save the lids. Use a melon baller or a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and the inside of each tomato. Save it all. Season the hollow tomatoes with a little salt and leave upside down on a plate for 15 minutes to draw out some of the juices.

Place all the scooped out tomato in a food processor and give it a good whizz. Pour into a strainer and save the juice. Discard the seeds.

Place rice in a small pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and precook the rice for 10 minutes, then drain. Place in a bowl and add the butter. Stir to melt the butter, then add the tomato juice, parmesan, nutmeg and herbs. Mix and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the rice mix into the tomatoes and place in a small oven tray. Place the lid back on and drizzle with the olive oil.

Cook in preheated oven for around 40-45 minutes until tender and lightly charred. The rice will have finished cooking and the lids will have risen a little.

Leave to rest for half an hour or more.

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