Risotto alla Milanese

(serves 2 | 40 minutes | medium)

The golden and creamy risotto alla milanese is one of Milan’s symbols. Saffron usage in Milan dates back over a millennium and its combination with rice can be linked to the 14th Century when the Duomo was built. The golden spice was being used as a pigment to colour the cathedral’s renowned towering stained glass windows and to flavour all sorts of sweet and savoury foods. It was at a prominent aristocratic wedding that saffron was first added to risotto, thus becoming one of the city’s most celebrated dishes.   

140g arborio or carnaroli rice – 40g butter – ¼ cup white wine – 740ml boiling hot broth – grated parmigiano – pepper – 1 saffron sachet

  1. Place the broth to simmer in a small pan. Pour the rice in a large, non-stick pot and turn the flame to medium-high. Stir the rice often to toast. Grab a few grains of rice between your fingers to check how hot it is – once it’s too hot to hold between your fingers, the rice is toasted. 
  2. Pour in the white wine and let it deglaze, stirring. Once almost completely evaporated, begin adding the hot broth, ladle by ladle, waiting for the liquid to evaporate slightly before adding more. Repeat this action until the rice is al dente, this should take between 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Halfway through the cooking process (around 10 minutes in) place a ladle of broth in a mug and sprinkle in the saffron, shake well to combine, then pour it into the pot with the rice – it will colour the risotto wonderfully and give it an amazing flavour. 
  4. Once the rice is al dente, turn off the flame and add the butter along with a handful of parmigiano and mix vigorously. Add a sprinkle of pepper and let the risotto sit in the pot for a few minutes, to allow the juices to settle, then serve and enjoy!