Saffron risotto

[RECIPE] Saffron Risotto from Lombardy

In Italian Regional Recipes, Recipes & How-to by Roscioli Italian Wine Club

This dish is a real star of Lombard cuisine! It is perhaps the most known dish from the city of Milan and for this reason it is also known as Milanese risotto. Traditionally Milanese risotto is served with Ossobuco, but saffron risotto is a delicious dish by itself.


Recommended wine pairing: Riesling dell’Oltrepo ‘Pavese

Saffron is a spice with a very strong and intense flavor that matches well with an aromatic white wine, so the choice for a regional pairing could only fall on the Riesling dell’Oltrepò ‘Pavese which, together with Alto Adige, is considered the most suitable area in Italy for this grape variety. 

Servings: 4

  • 320g/11oz Carnaroli rice
  • 1.5 liters/6 cups hot meat broth or stock
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons saffron strands, soaked in 2 tablespoons of water overnight or 2 sachets of saffron powder
  • 250ml/1 cup dry white wine
  • 100g/3oz butter
  • 70g/2oz Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, grated

    The broth or stock you use should be kept hot as you are adding it to the pan, to help achieve the right risotto consistency.

    1. Add the finely chopped onion with a tablespoon of the butter to a large pan, fry for around a minute on low heat until soft.
    2. Turn the heat up to medium before adding the rice to the pan, allowing the rice to toast for around a minute while stirring constantly. This step will help you achieve the perfect al dente texture!
    3. Add the white wine to the pan and stirring constantly, let it evaporate completely
    4. Turn the heat back down and add 1 ladle of the hot broth to the pan. Keep stirring until the rice is almost dry in the pan, then add a further ladle of the broth.
    5. Continue this process until the rice is cooked to the right al dente consistency, and then add either the saffron powder or the saffron strands, along with the water they have been soaking in.
    6. Taste the risotto and add salt if needed. Take the pan off the heat and add the remaining butter and grated cheese, stirring in for a creamy finish before serving immediately.

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