Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati is a perfect summer side dish. It is light and so easy to make! This baked Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati recipe is a classic Italian casserole and a delicious way to feed your kids with healthy ingredients!
This hearty vegetarian recipe can be served as a side dish or a main course, and is a great way to feed a crowd without much fuss. This is one summer casserole recipe you won’t want to miss!
This Tomato Gratin comes together in no time. The hardest part really is cutting the tomatoes in the middle and scooping out the pulp and seeds. You have to then salt and let the tomatoes drain upside-down on paper towel lined rack. While the tomatoes are draining, you can prep the gratin part.
Tomato Gratin is usually found in Emilia Romagna. This area of Italy happens to be one of my favorite! It is the land of tortellini, Parmigiano-Reggiano, balsamic vinegar (from Modena)and of course, piadina bread!
We enjoyed this dish a couple of summers ago in Rimini. We also enjoyed it in Lombardia made a totally different way. My best friends mother-in-law made it for lunch one day.
Here is Nicoletta serving her pomodori gratinati in Rimini, Italy. She really packs them in the casserole. Her tomato gratin are seriously the best I’ve ever had in Italy. We completely agree with our friend Jules!! Not only does Nicoletta make the best tomato gratin, she also hand makes the most delightful tortellini.
My friend swears that her mother-in-law makes it the best. And while I didn’t have the exact recipe from Nicoletta, I attempted to recreate the flavors as close to her version. Italian food is famous for simple recipes using the freshest ingredients. We experience this every summer at my in-law’s house near Lake Como. My father-in-law goes every morning to their garden to gather zucchini, zucchini flowers. He gathers pounds of fresh spinach and even lettuce.
You may not be in Italy and you may not be lucky enough to have a garden busting with juicy tomatoes and fresh parsley. If that is the case, just find the freshest and best quality ingredients to make a Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati just as you would have in Italy.
How do you make Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati?
- The first step is to to make Tomato Gratin is to find firm and ripe tomatoes (nice juicy and round vine tomatoes).
- Next, you cut in the tomatoes in two.
- After they are drained from excess water, they are filled with a mixture made with bread crumbs, bread, garlic, parsley, basil and extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake the at 350F for about 40 minutes.
The gratin part is made with bread crumbs, bread, basil and garlic and some of the tomato pulp. If you don’t have any great bread on hand, you could make the filling just with bread crumbs and it will still be delicious. Tomato gratin is so great for summer dinners or barbecues. We enjoyed them almost every summer when we are in Italy at someone’s grigliata (barbecue). They’re perfect when they’re hot out of the oven or even room temperature. These tomato side dish is even better the next day (if you have any leftover!). So wonderful, you could make a meal just out of the tomatoes!
How do you make Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati stovetop?
After you have prepped your tomatoes and stuffed them with gratin filling, add a drop of olive oil to a frying pan on a very low heat.
When the pan is heated up, place the tomatoes all around the pan and cover. Cook the tomatoes for about 30-40 minutes, or until they’re really tender. Make sure the heat is low enough and the bottom of the tomatoes aren’t burning. Add some water to the bottom of the pan if it seems to be too dry.
How to store Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati?
The Tomato Gratin will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Wrap the baking dish with foil paper and place in the fridge. You simply have to heat them up before serving. The recipe is totally vegan. It’s an example of how so many Italian dishes are vegan and wonderful without any dairy. There are many other versions of the recipe that add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or pecorino. Some recipes add in anchovies. We love it as it is without the cheese.
Tomato Gratin-Pomodori Gratinati
- 8 medium tomatoes we used round vine ripened
- tomato pulp reserved from tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup bread just the inside of a good bread
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- PREPPING THE TOMATOES
- Slice the tomatoes in half. Carefully scoop out the tomatoes pulp making sure you don’t puncture the tomatoes. Reserve the pulp in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt into the scooped out tomatoes. Line a rack with paper towels (or a baking pan)and place the tomatoes upside down (salted side down)on top of the paper towel to let the drain while you prep the stuffing.
- PREPARING THE STUFFING
- In a food processor or a blender, add some of the tomato pulp (about 1/2 cup of just the pulp, not the seeds). Add in the garlic, parsley leaves, basil, and 4 Tbsp of the olive oil. Give it a pulse until it’s smooth. Add in the bread crumbs and bread (I had a sourdough loaf and used the inside of this really great bread). Add salt to taste (I added about 2 tsps).
- Line your baking dish with parchment paper. Drizzle a little olive oil in the parchment paper. Place the tomatoes in the dish and fill them with the stuffing. Drizzle the gratin stuffing of each tomato with a little more olive oil.
- BAKE TOMATO GRATIN
- Preheat oven to 350° Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the heated oven. Bake the tomato gratin for 30 mins. Remove the foil paper and bake about another 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.