Risotto alla Milanese

  • Serves

    serves 4

In Le Ricette Regionali Italiane (Solares, 1967), which contains the recipe on which this one is based, the food historian Anna Gosetti della Salda points out that the original formula for butter-rich risotto alla milanese is a subject of dispute. Some say wine was a key ingredient, others question whether saffron has always been included, but few dispute that you should saute the rice before adding liquid and stir in extra butter at the end.


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 18 tsp. saffron threads
  • 9 tbsp. unsalted butter (like Delitia Parmigiano Reggiano "II Burro")
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vialone or arborio rice
  • 1 cup grated grana padano


Step 1

Bring stock to a bare simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Put saffron and 1⁄2 cup hot stock into a small bowl; cover and set aside to let soften. Cover stock; keep hot.

Step 2

Heat 5 tbsp. butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until softened, 2–3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until opaque, about 4 minutes.

Step 3

Add 1⁄2 cup stock; cook, stirring often, until stock is mostly absorbed, 2–3 minutes. Add another 1⁄2 cup stock; repeat process until all the stock is used, about 25 minutes total. Continue cooking rice until just al dente, about 3 minutes more. Strain saffron from stock over a bowl; set saffron aside. Pour saffron-infused stock into rice and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in saffron threads. Remove from heat; stir in remaining butter and half the grated cheese. Serve risotto with remaining cheese on the side.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.