This title really doesn’t do the end result justice. I modified a recipe from a cookbook I checked out from the library (can’t remember the name!) and ended up with a huge pot of deliciousness. Simon says, “it isn’t good, it’s great!” It’s a slow cooking recipe, so make sure you can be home for a while, but doesn’t require all that much active work.
Here’s what you need:
1 large onion
3 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
24-ounce can of tomato puree or jar of tomato passata (which I’ve been unable to find in a standard grocery store, but puree works just as well!)
2 bay leaves
One pepperoncini, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup Arborio-rice or similar type of rice
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
Here’s what you do:
1. Puree the onion, celery and garlic in a food processor until smooth.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery puree, and cook until it dries out and starts to stick, about 15 minutes.
3. While cooking the celery puree, lightly chop the carrots in your food processor.
4. Once done cooking the celery puree, add the can of tomato puree, and 3 quarts of water, broth, or some combination. Then stir in a 2 teaspoons of salt (unless you went all broth, you may want to use less), the bay leaves and the pepperoncini. Bring to a rapid simmer.
5. Add the carrots, and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced about one-third, about 30 minutes.
6. Add the cauliflower and simmer another 45 minutes.
7. Add the rice, and simmer another 15 minutes.
8. Add the parmesan, and cook another ten minutes on low.
9. Turn off the heat, and allow to sit, covered about 15 minutes.
10. Spoon into bowls, and enjoy, or refrigerate overnight to allow to thicken and meld flavors.