Black Venus rice with caramelised cherry tomatoes, peas and prawns

About half of the Italian rice is produced in the plains of Novara and Vercelli, where paddy fields are flooded, following the rhythm of seasons, according to a timing set by nature. It is there that many varieties of rice are grown, from the traditional Arborio, Carnaroli and Sant'Andrea varieties to the characteristic Basmati and red Hermes rice and finally to the variety required by the recipe we have chosen: black Venus rice. Experimenting is the keyword for this summer recipe, based on a traditional ingredient, rice, and combining delicious, contrasting, non-traditional flavours.


INGREDIENTS (serving 4 people):

100g (3.5 oz) of black Venus rice

8 clean prawns cut into halves

50g (1.8 oz) of peas

120g (4.2 oz) of cherry tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

15g (0.5 oz) of sugar

20g (0.7 oz) of basil

a pinch of thyme

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper


Cut the tomatoes into halves and place them in a baking tray with the cut section upwards. Sprinkle them with the same amount of salt and sugar, then add a pinch of thyme leaves and sprigs, then garlic cloves cut into halves. Pour a little olive oil over the tomatoes and put them into the oven for 40 minutes to caramelise at a 120 °C (250 °F) temperature.


In the meantime, boil the black Venus rice in salted water and cook it al dente (the required cooking time is always given).


Boil the peas for 2 minutes. Grill the prawns on the Teppan-Yaki griddle plate briefly, just to brown them a little.


When all the ingredients are at room temperature, combine them: the rice, the peas, the tomatoes and the prawns. Whisk a little oil and chopped up basil together to make a flavoury sauce for your rice, then season to taste.