This is another recipe from my mom. Originally it was from my grandma, but she used leaf celery instead of basil. Well, according to my mom. One of my aunts claims my grandma used parsley. But everybody agrees basil and tomatoes go well together, so this is my moms version.
4-6 fresh tomatoes (depending on size)
The leafs of 1 bunch of basil (6-8 stems), roughly chopped. Don’t worry if you have more basil in your bunch. Use it all. You never have too much basil for this dish.
1 onion, chopped
1 can of (skinless) tomatoes, roughly chopped
12 small meatballs (see previous recipe), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce – if you cannot find it, I think it can be substituted by 0.5 tablespoon of any Asian soy sauce you can find and 0.5 teaspoon of brown sugar)
2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F
In a sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat some vegetable oil and fry the chopped onion until soft. Add the chopped meatballs and the kecap manis (or soy sauce and sugar) and fry for a minute or so. Add the can of tomatoes (my mom normally doesn’t chop them beforehand, but presses them with the spoon she is stirring with, in order to make them smaller).
Chop the tomatoes in half, scoop out the flesh and add to the sauce in the pan. Put the empty tomato halves, hollow side up, tightly in an oven dish. Grind some pepper in them.
Add the chopped basil to the sauce.
Stuff the tomato halves with the sauce. You probably have some sauce left over after you stuffed the tomato halves. Don’t worry, simply pour it over the stuffed tomato halves in the oven dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and put in the oven for 10 minutes until golden.
Usually, my mom serves this as a simple, but delicious, summer dish with bread and a glass (or more) of wine. She buys prebaked wholegrain baguette, or prebaked ciabatta, and puts it in the oven next to the oven dish, making sure that bread and tomatoes will be ready at the same time.