Rinse rice in a strainer and leave it in the sink to drain.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add rice and cook 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly until the rice has toasted and puffed up a little bit. Add boiling water, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low simmer and cook 15–18 minutes. With this recipe, it is normal for a little of the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Uncover, fluff with fork and serve warm.
Toasting the rice in olive oil brings out its nutty flavors. You’ll never go back to the just-add-water method again.