Jamie Oliver's Oozy Black Rice with Sweet Roasted Pears, Thyme and Gorgonzola

The definition of comfort food, this Italian rice dish, as seen on Jamie Oliver's Channel 4 series, Jamie Cooks Italy, features buttery and cheesy black rice, roasted pears and Gorgonzola.

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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
Cook time: 1 h 30 min


2 ltrs 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 (15g) of fresh thyme
1 knob of unsalted butter
50g Parmesan cheese
100g Gorgonzola cheese
extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180C. Simmer your chosen stock. Peel and finely chop the onion and celery, then place in a large casserole on a medium heat with one 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 Gorganzola, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

CALORIES 488kcal FAT 23.6g SAT FAT 11.3g PROTEIN 26.6g CARBS 35.2g SUGAR 18.6g SALT 1.6g FIBRE 7.1g

Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2018 Jamie Cooks Italy), photography: David Loftus.

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