This is a very simple dish to make. I always make my own ricotta but you can very satisfactorily use store bought which makes this dish also fast to put together. If you have the time though, I highly recommend trying homemade ricotta as it has a sweeter fresher flavor than store bought.
I use this ricotta blend for stuffing other things as well, including lasagna. The secret ingredient is nutmeg. My mother, who lived in Rome for two years when she was a kid, taught me to put nutmeg in ricotta and though it seems strange- it is delicious! If you hate nutmeg, leave it out.
Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes
9 medium summer tomatoes (firm)
15 ounces ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
12 big basil leaves, julienned
3/4 tsp salt
3 shakes nutmeg
15 grinds fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the top of the tomatoes off and hollow them out being careful not to rip them up (you can see in the picture that I ripped a couple of mine).
In a big bowl mix all the remaining ingredients using a fork so that the egg gets broken and mixed in well.
Place the tomatoes in a pie dish and fill each one up with the ricotta mixture making sure to heap it up at the top a little.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then turn your oven broiler on and broil them until the tops turn golden (in my oven this is less than five minutes).
These make a great side dish or you can eat them as your main dish with a salad for a light dinner. You can eat the leftovers for lunch.