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Chef Luca’s Cauliflower Risotto and Meatballs with Fresh Tomato Sauce

5 star Avg. rating 5 from 5 votes.

Recipe Information

# of Servings: 4
Recipe Created By: Chef Luca Della Casa


1 head cauliflower
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 med onion
5 cloves garlic
1 lb ground beef
1/2 eggplant
1 Tbsp dried oregano
black pepper
olive oil


In a sauce pan over medium heat start sautéing the chopped onion with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Let the onions and olive oil cook gently until you get a translucent look. Next add the 2 cloves of chopped garlic and the can of whole tomatoes (do not drain the juice). Let the sauce pan simmer and gently cook for about 1 hour on medium low. Once your sauce has gently cooked for 1 hour, add 1 Tbsp of salt and ½ tsp of black pepper and blend in a food processor or with immersion blender. Be careful not to fill your food processor more than half way because the sauce will grow in volume.

Now we will start on the meatballs. Roast ½ of the eggplant in the oven on a piece of parchment paper with 3 cloves of garlic and 1 Tbsp of olive oil at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until completely soft. When ready, scoop out the eggplant pulp and chop it up along with the garlic. (Picture 1). Take your chopped eggplant and garlic and mix in the ground beef, 1 ½ tsp of salt, ½ tsp of black pepper and 1 Tbsp of dry oregano. (Picture 2). Then form 12 golf sized meat balls and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Picture 3). Finally, warm a pan with 3 Tbsp of olive oil at medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add your meatballs and let them sear on all sides. Then drain your olive oil and put the pan with the meatballs in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Now let’s make the cauliflower risotto. Start by cutting the florets off the top of your cauliflower. Chop the florets into little pieces and put the chopped cauliflower in the food processor. Let your cauliflower pulse until it is finely chopped.

Warm 3 Tbsp of olive oil at medium heat in a pan, then add the chopped cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Let the cauliflower risotto cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. If you see the cauliflower risotto is picking up too much color (looking a little brown) you can add a cup of water, keep stirring until the water evaporates, and add 1 tsp of olive oil.

You can plate your cauliflower risotto in a bowl, pour some fresh tomato sauce in the middle, and place the meatballs around your sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil and enjoy!


I suggest using Colavita olive oil.

You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and keep it in a sealed plastic container for use up to a week.

You can add more cauliflower to the processor and set it aside in a sealed plastic container for an easy and fast meal.


Egg Substitutions: There are many egg-free products and foods available to make your recipes free of eggs. Find out more about egg substitutions.