Risotto alla Milanese is a traditional recipe of Lombard cuisine, now prepared and appreciated worldwide. The origins of this simple yet delicious recipe seem to date back to the 16th century and are related to Milan Cathedral.
At the wedding of a master glassmaker’s daughter, his helper nicknamed Zafferano (Saffron) asked the cook to change the wedding menu and prepare the rice with saffron, seasoned with butter and grated cheese. Why was this a surprise? Because Zafferano had a habit of adding a pinch of saffron while creating amazing Cathedral stained-glass windows to obtain brighter colors.
The master glassmaker Valerio di Fiandra joked with him about his practice and said that he would end up putting saffron on the plates too. In the end, everyone enjoyed this delicious dish, and we are sure that you will too!
Milanese Saffron Risotto
- 11 oz arborio rice
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 4 ½ cups vegetable broth
- ¾ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- ½ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- In a small bowl, combine saffron with warm broth.
- In a pan, melt ¼ cup of butter and add chopped onion. Cook over medium-low heat until lightly golden.
- Add the rice and mix well to combine.
- Blend with wine and cook over medium heat until it evaporates.
- Add in the saffron and stir well to combine.
- Continue cooking by adding a ladle or two of broth as needed.
- When the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and stir in butter and grated cheese.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The rice is ready when “al dente,” which means cooked, but still firm under the bite.
- Remember to toss well or stir the risotto after removing it from the heat. It is an important step for preparing a creamy risotto.
- Can also add extra saffron threads to the top of the dish for color.
- You can place saffron in a small bowl with lukewarm water, cover, and let it stand overnight.
- This way, the risotto will have more color. Be sure to chop the onion finely. You should not feel it under the bite.
If you like this post, then we definitely recommend checking out our Costolletta di Vitello post.