This dish has the flavors of cheesy pizza baked in a tomato shell. It is very delicious and only takes a fast broil.
Use the toppings you like. I happen to love the pepperoni, sausage, mushroom combination. (I also add minced bits of anchovy but that tends to freak people out)
To really make this a super fast dish, dice half a package of Aidels Italian Meatballs as a sub for browning the meats. You can find them in the hot dog or packaged deli meat section. They are good quality and have great flavor.
- 4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, I use the On the Vine variety
- 4 ounces Italian sausage, Jimmy Dean Italian is very lean & near the egg section
- 1/4 cup finely diced pepperoni, ask for three 1/4 inch thick slices Boars Head pepperoni in the deli
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 to 6 medium baby bella or white mushrooms, diced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup Rao's or Gia Russa pasta sauce. These brands do not contain added sugar.
- 4 ounces mozzarella, freshly shredded
- Preheat 400 degree oven.
- Using a very sharp or serrated knife, cut the tops off the tomatoes and reserve.
- Hollow out the tomatoes a bit with a spoon, leaving the shells.
- Lightly sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt and turn cut side down on a paper towel to drain.
- Preheat broiler.
- To make the pizza filling, brown the sausage, pepperoni and garlic in a small non stick skillet. If there is more than a glaze of fat, pour it off or sop it up using a paper towel and tongs.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and juices have evaporated.
- Season with crushed red pepper and oregano.
- When the entire meat vegetable mixture is browned and smells wonderful, add just enough pasta sauce to moisten.
- Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- Arrange tomato shells on a foil lined baking pan and place the tomato tops next to them in pan. Toss half the mozzarella with the pizza filling and pile into the tomatoes.
- Top with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese browns.