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Baked tomatoes with couscous and pine nuts

It’s really convenient cooking with things that you can find around the kitchen. Having a box of couscous in the house for these baked tomatoes with couscous and pine nuts, made a family meal go much more smoothly. But what is a pasta maker doing with a box of supermarket couscous in the cupboard! Well, we thought the same thing too and so set upon a journey to discover how to make it.

Yes, once upon a time we decided that making our own couscous was a really good idea. The idea being that at least we will learn exactly how it is made and be able to speak with a little expertise on the subject. Making couscous is a long process but actually we are here to tell you that it is better than the dried stuff you buy at the supermarket.

We had spent all day learning how to create couscous and wanted to show it off as best wec could, while trying not to use too much of it. Ahhhh …. after all that rubbing, an opportunity to stop our hands from stinging!

Serve as an accompaniment or as a stand-alone dish because these baked tomatoes with couscous and pine nuts are truly tasty and simple to put together. Have you got the oven on?? Then let’s get stuffing!

Baked tomatoes with couscous and pine nuts for 4

  • 5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 150 ml /1/4 pint water
  • 100 grams / 4 oz couscous
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 gram / 2 oz pine nuts
  • 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
  • 50 grams / 2 oz dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 4 large tomatoes, stalks on
  • 150 ml / 1/4 pint tomato (pizza style) sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / 340 F
  2. Place the ginger and garlic into a small saucepan
  3. Add the water and bring to the boil
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cous cous and olive oil
  5. Cover and leave for 3 – 5 minutes for the couscous to absorb the water
  6. Add the paprika, pine nuts, apricots, lemon zest and juice and mint
  7. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste
  8. Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and reserve
  9. Scoop out the seeds and fill the cavities with the couscous
  10. Place the tomato lids back on and stand the tomatoes in a deep oven dish
  11. Pour the sauce around the tomatoes and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened

Published by thebigdreamfactory

My name is Susie Evans-Ardovini and I created The Big Dream Factory. I was born in the UK and have been a chef and restauranteur for over 30 years. During this time I have also lived in France and Italy where I visited many beautiful places and met many wonderful people. I am particularly impressed with the Italian way of life and their approach to food. Many families work extremely hard to grow and produce their own salumi, cheese, wine and olive oil which means that they have a wealth of knowledge and experience, most of which has been handed down through countless generations. It is no different in the kitchen. Nearly all foods served at an Italian table have been gathered from someones garden or field, and is then served alongside homemade, pasta, gnocchi, and countless dishes that could not be recounted in this tiny space since each family's knowledge is unique ... well, you can only imagine. I have walked Rome, climbed to the top of the Vatican, seen Milan, Venice, the Cinque Terre, climbed mountains, walked The Path of the Gods, wandered the great city of Napoli, lived on the little Island of Ponza and gathered a pile of friends, family and photographs as well as invalueable experience along the way. I became a new immigrant to the U.S.A on December 15th, 2013. With the support of many great friends and a passion (bordering on obsession), I am here in search of the American Dream and to bring you the natural flavours and vibrant colours of Italy. All my pasta, gnocchi and biscotti are made by hand just as I saw Italians do in homes and good restaurants all over Italy, every day and sometimes, twice a day. I hope you enjoy my creations and invite you to share your comments, photographs and recipes with me on Facebook or Twitter. In return I of course, will share beautiful Italy with you.

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