While similar to carnaroli or arborio, riso nero Venere (black Venus rice) takes a longer time to cook than other risotto rice varieties. This Guy Grossi dish teams the black rice with Moreton Bay bug tails and a rich parmesan zabaglione.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (7 votes)


  • 2.5 L chicken stock
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) olive oil
  • 4 eschalots, finely chopped
  • 350 g (1¾ cups) riso nero Venere (see Note)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) white wine
  • 15 Moreton Bay bug tails (see Note), shelled
  • 30 g butter
  • 25 g (⅓ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp rice polenta (see Note)

Parmesan zabaglione

  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 80 g (1 cup) finely grated parmesan
  • ¾ tsp agar-agar (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2008 Tommaso BussolaValpolicella Classico.

Place stock in a pan, cover, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and keep at a gentle simmer.

Heat 60 ml (¼ cup) oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add eschalots and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes or until well coated. Add wine, bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute or until reduced by half. Gradually add 250 ml (1 cup) stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until stock has been absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente; this will take about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, to make parmesan zabaglione, simmer cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat, whisk in parmesan and agar-agar, and blend with a stick blender until light and frothy. Season with sea salt and set aside until needed.

Cut 9 bug tails in half lengthwise, leaving the remaining 6 whole. Heat 60 ml (¼ cup) oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook halved bug tails, turning, for 4 minutes or until almost cooked. Transfer to risotto. Wipe pan clean and reserve. Add butter and parmesan to risotto, and stir vigorously to form a creamy consistency.

Heat remaining 60 ml (¼ cup) oil in the reserved pan over medium heat, dust whole bug tails with rice polenta, shake off excess, then cook for 4 minutes or until golden and just cooked. Drain on paper towel.

Divide risotto Venere among bowls, top each with a whole bug tail and spoon over warmed parmesan zabaglione to serve.


• Riso nero Venere (black Venus rice) is from selected delis and specialist food shops. You can substitute carnaroli or arborio, but it will take less time to cook and require less stock. 
• Moreton Bay bug tails are available from selected fishmongers.
• Rice polenta is from specialist food shops. Guy uses the Ferron brand of rice polenta.
• Agar-agar is a gelatinous substance made from seaweed, which is used as a setting or thickening agent. It's available from health food shops.



Photography by Derek Swalwell.


As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.