Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese, With Saffron

Risotto alla Milanese, With Saffron

Artusi remarked, a little more than a century ago, that the preparation of risotto alla milanese is best left to the Milanese, and then gave three recipes — likely for those too far from Milan to leave the preparation to the Milanese.

It is true that the dish offers a great chef an excellent opportunity to showcase her talents, but a home cook can do very well with care.

To serve 6:

  • 3 cups (600g) short grained rice, e.g. Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5 l) good meat broth, simmering
  • 2/3 cup (120 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 ounces (70 g) beef marrow (get this from your butcher, or an oriental market), minced
  • A small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry white (not oaky) wine, warmed
  • A packet of saffron pistils (about 0.1 g — powdered will do, but pistils are much better)
  • 2 1/3 cups (120 g) grated Parmigiano (half this if you are using the risotto as a bed for ossibuchi)
  • 6 sheets real gold leaf (quite optional, as garnish for a truly extravagant meal) – another option for garnishing is 6 chives

Place the saffron pistils in a bowl to steep with some of the meat broth.

In a casserole, simmer the finely sliced onion and the beef marrow in half the butter over an extremely low flame for about 10 minutes; the onion should become translucent but not brown.

Remove the onion and marrow with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Sauté the rice over a moderate flame for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly lest the rice stick and burn. About a minute before the rice is done, return the onion mixture to the pot.

Stir in the wine and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated. Next, stir in a ladle of the hot broth, and once most has been absorbed, another, stirring and adding liquid until the rice is almost at the al dente stage.

Stir in the saffron pistils, the remainder of the butter, half the cheese, turn of the flame, and let the risotto sit covered for a minute.

Then serve it, either as a bed for ossibuchi or as a first course, with the remainder of the cheese on the side. If you are serving the risotto with the gold leaf, divvy it into individual portions in the kitchen and carefully lay a sheet of gold over each.

Note: The gold leaf was introduced by Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Italy’s most popular and influential chefs. It does add a unique touch to the dish.

How to make risotto, Illustrated


Tags: , , ,

Categories: Creamy And Cheesy Risotti, Cucina Lombarda, Recipes from Lombardia

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


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