Stuffed Tomatoes

8 ripe tomatoes (Note: Fresh tomatoes should be used in this recipe – preferably medium Roma / plum tomatoes)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 lb. ham or proscito, diced
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon
2 TBL dry bread crumbs plus 1/4 cup
1 shallot, minced
extra-virgin olive oil

Cut each tomato in half.

Scoop out the reserve, all the ribbing and seeds. Salt the tomato shells generously and set aside to drain; inverted on a rack.

Prepare the filling: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Chop the reserve tomato flesh. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomato flesh with the diced ham, the egg, the lemon zest, 2 TBL bread crumbs, and minced shallot. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Spoon the filling into the tomato shells, mounding the stuffing slightly. Arrange shells in a baking pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately, serves 4.

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