Thursday, January 7, 2010

For the love of tomatoes

I've been thinking a lot about tomatoes lately. I know that sounds strange in the dead of winter, especially since we live in sub-zero conditions, but I have, and I'll explain why.

The novel I've been working on is titled In the Field of Tomatoes, and as I mentioned before, it takes place in my mother's hometown in southern Italy, Salandra. The town was primarily a farming town in the early 20th century ( when my novel takes place) and I set the entire novel either in town, or in the tomato fields around the town.

I've been hard at work revising the novel and, one of my goals for the early part of this year is to start sending it out to agents and ( cross your fingers people!) sell it. So, you see my preoccupation with tomatoes now huh?When I got home from work tonight, I barely had enough time to cook, let alone revise anything before dinner, so I used the one hour that I had to brainstorm about chapter 9 and make these stuffed tomatoes.

They were the perfect side-dish to the herb frittata that we ate for dinner, and even if you don't have tomatoes on your brain, one taste of these and you'll be thinking about them too.

Pomodori al Forno ( Baked tomatoes)

6 medium Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons pecorino romano cheese ( optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place on baking sheet or casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder and cheese in a small bowl.
4. Fill the tomato halves with the breadcrumb mixture.
5. Drizzle olive oil on top of tomatoes.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.


  1. buon dì..
    stai lavorando aad un romanzo? anche a me picerebbe scrivere un libro è stato sempre il mio sogno nel cassetto...^_^
    i tuoi pomodori fuori periodo, fanno venire voglia di sole.. sono molto belli a guardarli e sicuramente pieni di gusto...ottimi anche gli ingredienti...

  2. I have always loved this tomato recipe. Looking forward to hearing about your novel - and reading it.

  3. I would love these tomatoes - in the dead of winter. Brings summer summer to your life!

  4. It's so simple, yet so perfect. I made a few items like this last summer with super ripe tomatoes, but now, even with the negative temps outside I can taste those flavors. I may have to put some of these together soon.

  5. Hi Ms. Iacovino--well I guess that's not your name anymore!
    It's Asia from your lit and creative writing classes last year! I stumbled across your blog and I'm glad you're doing well. I miss creative writing class and Taboo Tuesdays!
    When your new book gets pulished I will definitely read and recommend it :)

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Anna- If you dream about writing a novel do it! I am finishing my second draft now and the more I write, the more I want to write!

    Linda- Thanks! I'll keep you posted on the process, I promise!

    Claudia- I totally agree! And in January we all really need a taste of summer!

    Kate- I'm sure these are waaaaaay better with fresh tomatoes from the garden! I'll have to make them again this summer.

    Asia!!! I'm happy you found my blog! It is so good to hear from you! How are you? How is life at PVI?
    I miss Taboo Tuesdays too!

  7. Your tomato recipe sounds perfect. I bet it would be extraordinary using summer Jersey tomatoes. I can't wait to read your novel! I love the title!

  8. Roasted tomatoes are my favorite - these look delicious.

  9. How exciting. Your book sounds excellent. Your tomatoes look fantastic. It's a great start to the new year!