For Risotto and More Rice and grains are staples in Italy, almost as important as pasta in Italian cooking. And while one of the greatest dishes found in Northern Italian dishes (risotto), has brought rice front and center into our consciousness, delicious international recipes abound that feature rice and grains in appetizers, soups, entrees, side dishes and desserts. Rice is Naturally Gluten-Free Rice is more than just a gluten-free carbohydrate. It's also a good source of energy. Low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar, rice is additive and preservative-free, too.