Jamie Oliver’s 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.

black rice
David Loftus



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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

488 kcal; 23.6g fat (11.3g saturated); 26.6g protein; 35.2g carbs; 18.6g sugars; 1.6g salt; 7.1g fibre

Jamie Cooks Italy is published by Michael Joseph, price £26. To order a copy for £20.80 until 2 December, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.