Italian classic Recipe Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese is a delightful Italian dish originating from the vibrant city of Milan. This classic risotto showcases the timeless combination of saffron, Arborio rice, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, resulting in a dish that is as visually stunning as it is rich and creamy in flavor.

With its sunny, golden hue, Risotto alla Milanese is an ode to the delicate saffron threads that infuse the rice with their unmistakable aroma and color. This luxurious ingredient, paired with the earthy notes of Arborio rice, creates a symphony of flavors that dance across the palate with each velvety spoonful.

The preparation of this dish is an art in itself, as the rice is lovingly cooked to perfection, absorbing the saffron-infused white wine and gradually absorbing the flavorful broth. The rhythmic addition of broth and constant stirring transforms the rice into a sumptuous, creamy texture that tantalizes the senses.

The final touch of butter and Parmigiano Reggiano adds an indulgent richness, elevating the dish to new heights. The result is a comforting and elegant culinary masterpiece, where every bite takes you on a journey through the heart of Milan, celebrating the region’s proud gastronomic heritage.

Risotto alla Milanese stands as a testament to the time-honored traditions of Italian cuisine, where simple yet high-quality ingredients come together harmoniously, creating an unforgettable dining experience. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, this saffron-infused risotto is sure to captivate and delight all who have the pleasure of savoring it.


320g (1 1/2 cups) Arborio rice (or Carnaroli rice)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
750ml (3 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
60g (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Risotto alla Milanese


1. In a small bowl, steep the saffron threads in the white wine for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow the saffron to release its flavor and color into the wine.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

3. Add the finely chopped onion to the pan and sauté until it becomes translucent, but not browned.

4. Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir it around, making sure each grain is coated with the oil and butter. Toast the rice for a couple of minutes until it becomes slightly translucent at the edges.

5. Pour in the saffron-infused white wine and stir the rice until the liquid is absorbed.

6. Begin adding the chicken or vegetable broth to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue this process, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked “al dente.” This should take about 16-18 minutes, but taste to check for doneness.

7. When the risotto is cooked, remove it from the heat. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until well combined. The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy.

8. Season the Risotto alla Milanese with salt and pepper to taste.

9. Serve the risotto immediately on warm plates or in shallow bowls. You can garnish it with additional grated Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

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