I´ve always been of the opinion that tomatoes need nothing more than salt and olive oil, that heating up the house roasting things in summer is madness, and that stuffing things is a waste of time.
However, since moving to Scotland´s Acrtic Circle, I have had to rethink my tomato usage. Heating up the kitchen is not an issue, beleive me, and the tomatoes I find taste a lot better with cooking.
Yesterday I had four tomatoes that needed a bit of help, a hunk of bread that was at the tough/chewy stage, and a cold kitchen. I vaguely remembered a recipe from Canal House Cooking, pasta with roast stuffed tomatoes. So I set to, improvising, because I wasn´t about to bring my gleaming new iPad into a messy kitchen. It worked out great, as my recipe is easier , with less steps and pots to clean, and very very good, if I may say so.
You can serve them as hors d´ouvre, a starter, as a side dish, or with the pasta, and they´re better lukewarm, so it´s a perfect do ahead entertaining dish. Great.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Take your old bread, which should be old but not so ancient that it will crumble to fine dust. Put it in a small food processor with a couple of garlic cloves, some parsley leaves, salt, a drizzle of olive oil if you will (and anchovies if you like. I didn´t have any to hand, but they´d fit right in). Now comes the fiddly part: slice the tomatoes in half and scoop the seeds out, and add them to the crumbs.
Pulse. The crumbs should be still recognizable as such, about the size of small lentils, but you will end up with a wet sand sort of looking mess.
Now take your hollowed out tomatoes (or red peppers) and fill them with this mixture. Put them on a baking dish with a little bit of oil under them (no big deal) and roast for 90 minutes or so. You might have to cover them half way through with some foil if they brown too quickly.
They´re done when the tomatoes are very well cooked, with some charred spots, even. The crumbs will be soft and juicy inside, crunchy on top.
Wait until it´s barely warm, it will taste much better.