Risotto alla Milanese sounds fancy, but it just means “rice made in the style of the city of Milan”. It’s not difficult to make, so give it a go and see what you think.
As you may know, I post a lot of traditional and authentic recipes here on my site.
I feel that if I don’t try to save some recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, especially when it comes to Italian and British cuisines, that they all may disappear one day. Poof! They’ll be gone and all we’ll be left with will be “Dump Dinners”, hot dog and tater tot casseroles and chemical laden desserts made with boxes of cake mix, cans of God-knows-what, and tubs of non-dairy whipped topping.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have anything against this type of “food”–I have everything against this kind of faux food! The “dump” meals wouldn’t be so bad if you were dumping real ingredients in the pan, but most of the ingredients are processed and packaged items! Why? I would love to know.
First of all, I have to get this off my chest: using “dump” in a recipe title to describe a dish, does it no favors. In fact, I think (and many others have agreed with me) that it conjures up images which should never be associated with anything to do with food.
Secondly, super-processed food is not real food.
I don’t claim that all of my recipes are completely authentic and traditional, such as this risotto which I’m making vegetarian, and my inauthentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara, however, I do explain how to make the proper versions.
Today’s post is a simple recipe, a classic northern Italian dish called risotto alla Milanese, or as I explained in the title, rice which is made in the style of the city of Milan. Its discerning yellow color comes from just a pinch of saffron, which also gives it its wonderful flavor. You may have already seen or made my sausage and mushroom risotto recipe.
You may also enjoy reading about my risotto cooking lesson at a grotto on Lake Lugano!
Made in the authentic manner, beef stock from bone marrow bones are used, however, given that many of us don’t have a supply of marrow bones on hand, I’ve give a vegetarian version, too (which is still truly delicious).
Recently, a friend from Italy named Carlo, asked if I’d be interested in sampling saffron from his new business of growing organic saffron crocuses near my mother’s village! What a request! Of course I was game, and soon, a little package arrived from Italy.
The first thing I had to make was this risotto, and yes, the saffron is wonderful. Try to use Carnaroli rice for the best results, next is Arborio, however, if you cannot source either one, use a short grain rice.
Risotto alla Milanese
(with vegetarian option)
slightly adapted from a Cucchiaio D’Argento recipe serves 4
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
Over medium high heat, in a large pot melt the butter and add the diced onion. Sauté for a few minutes, until they are transparent, but before it starts to brown. Add the rice and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent.
Add the wine and stir well until it evaporates.
Meanwhile, place the saffron threads, or ground saffron, into the heated marrow or vegetable stock. It will turn the stock a bright yellow color.
Begin adding a cup (8 oz) of the heated vegetable stock at a time to the rice while stirring, allowing to simmer and cook down. Once absorbed, add another cup and continue until all the stock has been used; it should be al dente within 18 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and butter. Taste for salt, and add it as needed.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy this wonderful risotto!
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A different sort of rice you can use as a side dish: golden rice pilaf.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup (200 g) Carnaroli rice (or Arborio)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
- 3 cups (710 ml) beef stock from marrow bones (vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- pinch of saffron threads or ground saffron
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup (43 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Over medium high heat, in a large pot melt the butter and add the diced onion. Sauté for a few minutes, until they are transparent, but before it starts to brown. Add the rice and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the wine and stir well until it evaporates.
- Meanwhile, place the saffron into the heated stock. It will turn the stock a bright yellow color.
- Begin adding a cup (8 oz) of the heated stock to the rice while stirring, allowing to simmer and cook down. Once absorbed, add another cup and continue until all the stock has been used; it should be al dente within 18 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmigiano cheese and butter. Taste for salt, and add it as needed and serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 2274mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 38g
All nutrition data is estimated.
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