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 Mario Batali or Gia Russa pasta sauce. These brands do not contain added sugar.
- 4 ounces mozzarella, freshly shredded
- Using a very sharp or serrated knife, cut the tops off the tomatoes and reserve. (I cut off the very tops and hollow out the whole tomato, but you can also simply cut your tomatoes in half and proceed)
- Hollow out the tomatoes 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. Broil until cheese browns.