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Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

wow is this yummy! I found this recipe in a recent williams-sonoma catalog, and modified it slightly. Pair it with a fresh tossed salad, a crusty loaf of bread, and perhaps a beaujolais wine, and you have a perfect summer meal. Enjoy!

Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

8-10 heirloom tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano, minced
2 cups fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted
3/4 cup Parmigian-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375F

Core tomatoes, scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Season the insides with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes on a plate, cut side down.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook an additional minute or two, then add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Cook, breaking the sausage into small pieces, until done (about 5 minutes). Transfer the sausage mixture into a bowl and cool about 10 minutes.

Stir the marjoram, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup cheese, and the parsley into the sausage mixture. Stuff the tomatoes with the filling and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining cheese, and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tops. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8-10 stuffed tomatoes.

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