Profondo Nero. Vegan & Gluten free



Italy, 1975. Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso saw the light of day. This shocking giallo-horror movie is a «cult» film that proudly withstands the passage of time (it premièred almost half a century ago) and which is a pacesetter (and scary!) still today.
A breath-taking whirlpool of sounds, tensions, and twists… impossible not to get ‘swallowed’ by it! And so, reflecting on these and other aspects, Profondo Nero was born, a dish that is ‘soft’ on the palate, warm, whose main ingredient is Nerone Italian black rice, enveloping and overwhelming due to its peculiar flavour and colour.

The recipes we offer are a personal interpretation of atmospheres, sensations and other aspects inherent in cinema, art and music. These are opinions (you may endorse them or not) but we think it is important to respect everyone’s creative vision, whether at the kitchen or in any other areas.


Here follows the instructions to prepare a healthy serving of rice for two.


Preparation time

1 hour 15 minutes


Cooking method and time

Tomato: about 20-25 minutes on the stove burner.

Rice: on the stove burner, boil for about 10 minutes; then cook in a sauce pan for about 20-30 minutes.



This dish should be eaten on the same day it is prepared, preferably as soon as it is ready; it can be also reheated in a pan.



– 180 g (raw) whole-grain Nerone Italian black rice (organic);

– 4 ripe San Marzano tomatoes;

– 1 pinch of white sugar;

– iodized salt to taste;

– extra virgin olive oil to taste.


Caution: for people with coeliac disease, all ingredients with risk of contamination must be gluten-free certified.


Useful information before cooking

  • The rice used in this recipe originates from China, but was introduced in Italy in 1997. Today it is grown in specific areas of the Po Valley, for example, in Piedmont. We are talking about whole-grain Nerone black rice, a pleasantly aromatic rice in terms of flavour and aroma, rich in fibre, mineral salts, and good quality proteins.
    We have purchased a premium organic product. Its value is guaranteed by a thorough and reliable production process to the highest quality standards.
    Besides the wish to eat foods that are as natural as possible, it is known that rice, and whole-grain rice in particular, contains inorganic arsenic. The latter is absorbed by rice plants through water and soil; it would seem that intaking inorganic arsenic over time could lead to negative consequences for our health.
    Since white rice is refined, it contains less arsenic. However, removing the outermost layers of the grain also involves a considerable loss of the nutrients that are typical of rice (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, etc.). So, when it comes to rice, it is important to:
    – read labels carefully (origin, where it is grown, processing method, etc.);
    – buy high-quality brown rice. It is essential to stress that rice cultivation requires significant quantities of pesticides; therefore, choosing an organic product is crucial;
    – alternate the consumption of white rice and organic brown rice with other cereals such as millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, etc., which are less exposed to contamination by inorganic arsenic;
    – adopt the most effective cooking methods recommended by experts, i.e. techniques that eliminate as much inorganic arsenic as possible from rice.
    If you wish to examine this question further, please read these interesting articles: link (download PDF file), link (download PDF file) and link.


  • In theory, it would not be necessary to leave whole-grain rice to soak, since it is a cereal low in phytic acid, a substance that hampers the absorption or use of nutrients (such as iron, copper, zinc, calcium).
    However, for a number of reasons, we recommend all the same that rice be soak in a basin full of water at room temperature, starting from a minimum of 4-6 hours up to a maximum of 10-12. Soaking rice will, in fact:
    – eliminate a certain amount of phytates as well;
    – reduce anti-nutritional enzyme inhibitors;
    – increase our body’s ability to absorb proteins and minerals, precious allies for our health;
    – improve rice digestibility;
    – speed up the cooking process of this cereal.
    At the end of this process, you will just have to discard the soaking water and rinse rice very well under plenty of cold water.


  • In this recipe, we use the absorption cooking method. This technique consists in covering cereal grains with a sufficient quantity of water, which will be then absorbed during cooking. Furthermore, this method plus a first quick boiling and the subsequent elimination of the cooking water is indicated for eliminating as much inorganic arsenic as possible from rice.


  • Each cereal has its own well-defined proportion to water that has to be maintained; therefore, it is always an excellent idea to find out which these ratios are, since a successful cooking process and, consequently, a successful recipe, depends on that.



Digitalis Purpurea™ points out that no nutritional information in this article can replace medical advice, as each individual has unique physiological characteristics which, in the event of deficiencies or illnesses, must be necessarily checked by a general practitioner or specialist.
Therefore, the information published in this article is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as medical advice, a medical prescription or any other kind of prescription.





Put a large steel pan filled with cold water on the burner. Once water starts boiling, pour in the rice, already soaked and rinsed (see instructions above).
Do not add salt to the water at this stage. From the moment water boils, cook rice on high heat for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.





Take 4 ripe San Marzano tomatoes. If you don’t have them available, you can choose large perino or vine tomatoes. The compact, fleshy and not very watery pulp makes these tomatoes suitable for quick cooking; moreover, as they have few seeds, they are very quick to clean, and this considerably cuts down the preparation time of the recipe.
Remove the skin, the top part where the stalk is, the endocarp, the seeds, together with the watery pulp and, more generally, the vegetable water. Do this carefully so that when you eat, you don’t have to worry about seeds or anything else. Now, cut some tomato pieces from the pulp, neither too small nor too big.




Take a non-stick pan with high sides, pour the tomato, a generous tickle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir well and turn on the heat: cook on a medium heat for the first 10 minutes approximately (the tomato will lose some water), and about the last 15 minutes on a low heat (to dry out the water). Halfway through cooking, sprinkle a pinch of sugar onto the tomatoes as this cuts their acidity. In this case, we use white sugar only because it has a ‘neutral’ taste when compared to maple syrup, cane sugar and the like.
If at the end of the cooking process the sauce does not seem to be cooked enough, you can add a drop of cold water, and keep on cooking for a little while. In any case, the final appearance should be similar to what you see in the picture below, that is, the pieces should be dried out but not completely undone, and bright red.





Now take a heavy bottom steel pan with tall sides. As an alternative, you can pick a non-stick one with similar characteristics.
Pour in the rice and cover with cold water. In this case, the ratio of rice to water to be respected is 1 : 2 (that is, one cup rice to two cups water).
Cover the pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat; once it starts to boil, add a level teaspoon of salt and cook with the lid on over medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes.
From time to time, check how the cooking is progressing: you may need to stir it, slightly lower/raise the heat, adjust the salt, etc. Important: after 20 minutes of cooking, taste the rice to see if it is tender or needs further cooking.



Once the rice has absorbed all the cooking liquid, heat up the tomato you have previously cooked and, once ready, add it to the rice in same pan.
Mix the ingredients carefully and serve this piping hot rice on a serving dish that enhances its splendid colour.






In addition to the unique flavour Nerone black rice gives this dish, you will immediately notice how soft and creamy it is on the palate, almost like a risotto. To balance everything, we have accompanied it with Edamame soy beans, boiled for about 10 minutes in slightly salted water.

Leave a comment if you feel like. We are always happy to hear your feedback, answer questions, and find out which recipe you would have prepared to pay homage to this timeless film in the kitchen!

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