"my brother is an idiot" looms uneaten on the edge of Dustin's plate. There is, as I have discovered, a downside to using alphabet pasta. I may use orzo next time.
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta, (or orzo)
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper
1/4 cup peas, or corn kernels, cooked fresh or defrosted frozen
1/4 cup shredded cheddar, (or crumbled feta )
2 green onions, both green and white parts, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 garlic clove, squished
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Cook the alphabet pasta in boiling water until tender but not falling apart. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Set aside.
Cut around the top of each tomato with a sharp knife, sort of like when you do a pumpkin at Halloween, and remove the lid. Don't carve a face, though. Gently squeeze the tomato over a bowl to get out some of the seeds and juice, then have your child scoop out the flesh into another bowl (with a melon baller, if you have one), leaving a hollow tomato shell. Sprinkle the shells lightly with salt, and turn them over to let the juice drain out. Chop all the tomato flesh, discarding any excess juice (you don't want all that liquid because it will make the filling soggy). Add the drained alphabets, chopped red or green pepper, peas or corn, cheese, green onions, parsley, oil and vinegar. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Turn the tomato shells over and have your young helper scoop as much of the pasta mixture into the shells as possible, mounding it up on top. Place tomatoes on a platter and refrigerate. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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