Pomodori al Riso


Somehow, eating tomatoes all throughout September felt just right this year. We have been enjoying the best autumn weather I could have ever hoped for, possibly the best I can remember since we left Bra. Sunny, clear, dry, and just perfect for tomatoes. I think we’ll be ignoring the brassicas and squashes for as long as we can.

We have been making rice-stuffed tomatoes quite a lot, with small variations. The idea sparked from a beautiful post from Rachel. It lured us to make them, and we then continued on a pattern that saw them happening in our kitchen at least once a weak.

I see this as a perfect dish to bridge the seasons. It has, inevitably, the flavour and reminiscence of summer. Yet, the stuffing and baking have an autumnal character and are a welcome activity on these early October days, when memories of summer adventures are still fresh in our mind.

Pomodori al Riso

This recipe has been cooked with Rachel’s in mind. I report hers faithfully here (doses are halved to serve our small household). All you need to know, before you start, is that all this recipe needs is a bit of foresight. Still, it’s well worth the wait.

Serves 2
4 medium-sized tomatoes
4 leaves of fresh basil
1 cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons of risotto rice
50 ml extra virgin olive oil

500 g waxy potatoes

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and set them aside. One by one, hold the tomatoes over a bowl and using a teaspoon, scoop out their insides – flesh, seeds, and juice – and let it all fall into the bowl. Sprinkle a little salt in the cavity of each tomato and then place them cut side down on a clean tea towel so any excess water can drain away.

Pass the tomato flesh, seeds and juice through a food mill or blast it briefly with an immersion blender. Peel and very finely chop the garlic and add it to the tomato. Rip the basil leaves into small pieces and add them to the tomato. Add the rice and olive oil to the tomato. Season the mixture very generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Peel and chop the potatoes into 1″ dice. Put the potatoes in a bowl, pour over a little olive oil and sprinkle over a little salt and then using your hands toss the potatoes so they are well coated with oil.

Sit your empty tomatoes in a lightly greased oven proof dish. Spoon the rice mixture into the shells so they are 3/4 full. and then put the lids back on the tomatoes. Scatter the diced potato around the tomatoes. Slide the tray into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and just starting to shrivel and the rice is plump and tender and the potatoes are soft and golden.

Allow the tomatoes to sit for at least an hour before eating.



  1. valentina - sweet kabocha October 7, 2014

    I made them 1 year ago for my first – and last – time, with brown rice. They didn't came perfect, I'll try next summer because they taste soooo good!

    • Valeria October 7, 2014

      definitely worth another shot – i think the white risotto rice really makes the difference here, as it plumps up more and gets more tender. x

  2. barbaraT @ pane-burro October 7, 2014

    pensa che io invece da bambina chiedevo a mia madre di fare i pomodori al riso solo per le patate!
    bellissimi i tuoi, la ricetta è esattamente come quella che fa la mia mamma (e quindi, anche io…) anche se nessuno della nostra famiglia è veramente romano, ma cosa vuoi.. vivendo qui da più di trentanni ormai siamo tutti very romanized!

    • Valeria October 7, 2014

      Io pensa che in famiglia non credo di averli mai mangiati – sono tutte cose assaggiate in viaggio e poi riprodotti in questi ultimi anni. Una delle mie scoperte preferite, tra l'altro 🙂

  3. Reb October 7, 2014

    Io quel 'salino' lo amo.
    te, anche, as always.
    Love, a lotissimo

    • Valeria October 8, 2014

      E ho anche il pepino 🙂 sono della nonna di Jesse, che a sua volta li ha avuti da chissà chi. Ora li abbiamo noi, e beh, abbiamo pensato di usarli! Love lots lots x

  4. Frances G October 10, 2014

    I suggest roasted jerusalem artichokes as a side.

    • Valeria October 11, 2014

      I like te sound of that! Thank you for the suggestion Frances, a novel take on the traditional recipe, sometimes we make great discoveries this way! 🙂 x

  5. Shu Han October 13, 2014

    I love love love how this looks and the sound of all these flavours together. Also have a weakness for rice (duh). Still got the last of the tomatoes around so will have time to try this one out I think 😉 x

    • Valeria October 14, 2014

      That's awesome – I am slowly trying to say goodbye to tomatoes but failing miserably still…:) Let me know how you liked them! x

  6. Love the simplicity of this dish! Absolutely gorgeous. Will definitely make it should I stumble upon great, juicy tomatoes bursting with flavor.

    • Valeria October 14, 2014

      Hi Sini, thank you! This is a must try for sure – such a classic, uncomplicated, yet so comforting. Let me know if you have any luck with the tomatoes! x


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