Instructions: Wash and dry tomatoes. Cut a small lid from the top of each; scoop out tomato pulp and save it for later use. Remove heads and peel from shrimp. Crush heads and peel in mortar. Cut shrimp in small pieces and sprinkle lightly with salt. Put cleaned clams in saucepan with 1/4 cup white wine and let them steam open over moderate heat. When opened, remove them from fire, discard shells, and put clams aside, saving the liquid in which they cooked.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan or earthenware casserole and slowly brown chopped onion with bay leaf, oregano, and thyme. When onion begins to turn golden, add tomato pulp and crushed heads and peel of shrimp. Let sauce reduce on very hot fire until tomato juice has evaporated, leaving a thick sauce. Pass sauce through sieve and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan. Fry chopped shrimp briefly over hot fire. Almost at once, add the shelled clams and 1/4 cup cognac, warmed in advance. Light cognac and let it burn. As soon as the alcohol has evaporated, mix in tomato sauce and a little of the liquid in which the clams cooked. (Pour with care to avoid getting sand into dish.) Let the sauce reduce on a hot fire until there is very little liquid. Remove from fire, season with salt and pepper, let it cool a moment, then rapidly blend in a beaten egg. (All of the forgoing can be prepared hours in advance.)
Twenty minutes before serving, preheat oven to 400 degrees, place tomatoes on an ovenproof serving dish with sides, put a little salt inside each tomato, and fill it with the shellfish mixture. Blend dry bread crumbs, cheese, and chopped parsley. Sprinkle over tops of tomatoes. Pour remaining olive oil over tomatoes and place them in the upper part of 400 degree oven. Bake until warmed through and browned on top. Just before serving, baste with sauce formed during baking.
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