Oozy black rice



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

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