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Stuffed Tomatoes

From Nice Cortelli Lucrezi, "Le Ricette della Nonna" - L'Arte del Mangiar Bene in Abruzzo, Japadre Editore, L'Aquila 1974 - out of print - Reproduced by courtesy of Ms Cortelli's son, Dr Alfonso Lucrezi - all rights reserved.

Ingredients
round tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, origan, crumbled bread, mozzarella (optional)

Preparation
Choose beautiful round tomatoes, mature but not soft, cut away the top circle, remove the liquid and seeds, salt and season with oil and pepper inside the holes. Meanwhile prepare the crumbled bread with garlic, parsley, origan, salt and pepper. Stuff this compound inside the tomatoes, adding in case a small piece of mozzarella here and there, oil an oven container and place the tomatoes into it, season with a little more oil at the top of the tomatoes, and bake for a half hour at least. The tomatoes are ready when the crumbled bread has become a beautiful golden crust.

Some history
When in the countryside homes bread was made, it was hard work for the housewives, and a great feast for the children because, at snack time, joyous and happy they would have their fried pizzas. The housewife left aside a little bread dough, for the pizzas to be made. Then she prepared a large pan full of oil, and a long iron stick (you can use a fork...). She took a little piece of dough form the mass, and she flattened it on the wooden table with her hands (not with the mattarello) and, as soon as the oil was hot, she placed the pizza into the pan, and covered it with oil too so that it would grow well. With the iron stick she turned the pizza upside down, and, once cooked, drained it and salted it generously.
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