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Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes with Linguine

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 (5-ounce) medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces herbed goat cheese
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

Pasta:

  • 8 ounces linguine or thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 12 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Procedures:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • Cut the top 12 inch from each tomato, reserving the tops. Using a melon baller or serrated grapefruit spoon, remove the seeds and flesh from the insides, leaving just the tomato shells. Lightly salt the interior of each tomato. Drain them upside down on a few layers of paper towels for 15 minutes.


  • Stir together the goat cheese, mascarpone, milk, chives, thyme, and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture into each tomato, top with the reserved tomato “lids,” and set in a shallow baking dish. Bake the tomatoes until tender, about 25 minutes.


  • While the tomatoes are baking, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stirring to separate the strands, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter and oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add the bread crumbs and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parsley; set aside.


  • Drain the pasta well and toss it with the bread crumb mixture in a large bowl. Divide the pasta among 6 warmed pasta bowls, making a nest in each for a tomato. Sprinkle the pasta with the Parmesan cheese and set the stuffed tomatoes on top. Sprinkle the basil over and serve. Encourage your guests to cut into their tomato right away to allow the cheese to blend with the pasta.
  • by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

     
     
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