Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers
6 medium tomatoes
6 green bell peppers
1 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup of uncooked short-grain rice
2/3 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup of dark and golden raisins
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried mint
sugar, as needed
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Cut a small cap off the tops of the tomatoes and peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and pith off the peppers and scoop out the inside of the tomatoes using a spoon over a bowl. Place the hollow tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish ensuring they fit snugly. Puree the tomato pulp in a food processor or blender till smooth.
Add about 6 tablespoons of oil to a pan and add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat till translucent. Add the pureed tomato, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till thickened. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this tomato sauce in a small bowl to use later. Add the rice, pine nuts, and raisins to the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, stir often so that it doesn’t stick.
Off the heat add the parsley, mint and 1 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Season the inside of the tomato and peppers with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Fill each with the rice mixture until 3/4 of the way full. About 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to each, then cover with the reserved caps. Brush the outside with oil, and sprinkle with the brad crumbs. Add enough water to fill 1/4 of the height, add the reserved tomato puree and tomato paste to the water.
Bake in the oven for over an hour or until the vegetables are wrinkly like raisins. Add water if it gets dry.