My husband is definitely the guy who loves being fed delicious food. Cliche as it is the way to his heart is certainly through food! Lucky for him, my way of showing love is through cooking and feeding people. His favorite meal is stuffed tomatoes, which stems from his French roots. His mother makes them and his aunt makes them….the amazing thing about these stuffed tomatoes is the taste of fennel from the italian sausage, mixed with the mild texture and flavor of the tomato itself, softened by the cooking process, but solid enough to withstand the meaty insides. One of my most memorable dishes while traveling in France was by far these stuffed tomatoes that his aunt made for us with fresh tomatoes from her community garden. I was able to walk with her to this beautiful garden to see how she maintains her own section and all of the vegetables and even strawberries that she grows there. None of the restaurants in all of Paris compared to food made out of love in the countryside of France. Although I often change a classic recipe and add my own flair, one thing rings true time and again and that is when I cook with absolute love, and complete presence the meal just tastes SO much better! These Italian sausage stuffed tomatoes are a staple in our house for special meals, especially for my husband’s birthday.
Italian Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes
Yield 6-8 tomatoes
A gourmet dinner that is not that difficult to make. You can wow your spouse or your dinner guests with this delicious and filling gourmet meal without breaking a sweat. This is a "special" recipe in our house that has stood the test of time and keeps doing so.
- 6-8 large Tomatoes (tops taken off and insides scooped out and set aside)
- 1 pound italian sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese sliced thin for topping the tomatoes
- handful of parsley diced
- Before cooking, prep the tomatoes by slicing off the tops gently (I use a sharp paring knife and treat it like a mini jack-o-lantern). Scoop out the tomatoes into a bowl and set aside (we will be using some of the juice later). Place the unfilled tomatoes into a casserole dish and set aside.
- Dice up your onions, garlic, and mushrooms and set aside. *tip I use a food processor and pulse a couple times to do the dicing for me.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high until hot.
- Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and garlic. Continue sauteeing for an additional 2-3 minutes until fragrant and softened. You can cover the pan with a lid to expedite this.
- Remove the onion mixture and place in a bowl, set aside.
- Next to the same skillet add the uncooked sausage.
- Brown the sausage (this takes about 10 minutes)
- Once the sausage is browned, add the onion mixture back into the skillet.
- Next add a few scoops of the reserved tomato juices (broken up and more liquid) you do not need to use all of it, but about 1 cup worth. You don't want it overly watery or the tomato might get too soggy while cooking.
- Add in the diced parsley and the salt and pepper.
- Scoop the meat mixture into each tomato all the way to the top!
- Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- Take out of oven and turn the broiler on.
- Top each tomato with a small slice of fresh mozzarella and broil for about 2-3 minutes (be careful and watch this step so they don't burn)
- Serve hot! Enjoy!