Oozy black rice
SWEET ROASTED PEARS, THYME & CREAMY GORGONZOLA
It may not look traditionally Italian but believe me, Italians are growing, cooking and enjoying black rice just like this. It does take a bit longer to cook the rice to perfection, but it needs less hands-on attention than a regular risotto and is so worth it. I learnt this from a mondina nonna – it’s super-comforting and a real joy. SERVES 4 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES 2 litres quality chicken or veg stock 1 onion 2 sticks of celery olive oil 300g black rice 150ml Barbera d’Asti red wine 4 firm pears
½ a bunch of fresh thyme (15g) 1 knob of unsalted butter 50g Parmesan cheese 100g Gorgonzola cheese extra virgin olive oil
❄ Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Simmer your chosen stock. Peel and finely chop the onion and celery, then place in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
❄ Stir the rice into the veg to toast for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine. Let it cook away, then pour in the stock, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if needed. Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the pears. In a baking dish, toss with a little olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and the thyme sprigs. Roast for 40 minutes, or until soft and golden.
❄ To serve, beat the butter through the rice, then finely grate and beat in the Parmesan. Taste and correct the seasoning, if needed, then pour on to a serving platter. Top with the roasted pears, bomb over nuggets of Gorgonzola, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. NUTRITION PER SERVING 488 kcal; 23.6g fat (11.3g saturated); 26.6g protein; 35.2g carbs; 18.6g sugars; 1.6g salt; 7.1g fibre