Risotto alla Milanese: A Saffron Classic

This is a lovely Italian classic I crave for ever so often. You can serve it as a course in an Italian inspired meal (primo piatto) or as an entire meal in its own. Traditionally, risotto is served without any side dishes and also not as a side dish itself. However, you can also combine it with meat, for instance Ossobuco, Saltimbocca or Piccata (milanese) work lovely with it. In this picture, I threw in some peas for colour and served it as a vegetarian dinner.

The recipe is simple enough but does require a bit of time and care, as risotto wants to be stirred quite frequently:

Ingredients (for 4-8 people, depending on the serving size):
400g risotto rice
1 onion (finely diced)
1 clove of garlic (finely diced)
2 tablespoons of olive oil (or butter)
2 dl white whine
1 liter of vegetable stock (hot)
4-5 tablespoons of parmesan cheese (grated)
2-3 sachets of saffron
Salt and pepper

Preparation (ca. 30-40 minutes):
Briefly sauté the onion and garlic in one tablespoon of hot oil over a low heat. Then add the rice and fry until translucent while stirring. Pour on the white wine and reduce over a low heat while stirring.
Add 1/3 of the hot vegetable stock and stir frequently until the rice grains have almost completely absorbed the liquid. Repeat the same procedure twice. After 25-30 minutes the risotto is cooked – perfect risotto is soft and plump on the outside and still a bit al dente on the inside.
Add the saffron, the grated parmesan cheese and another tablespoon of olive oil (or butter) and mix until combined. Season to taste – and enjoy!

Risotto Milanese, garnished with chilli threads

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