Risotto allo Zafferano | Authentic Italian Recipe
Risotto all Zafferano is a classic dish, most commonly know as "risotto all Milanese." There is a distinction between the two, though, as a true Milanese is served with osso buco. It's a delicious dish that is much simpler to make than most people think!
Watch the Pasta Grammar recipe where we cook this dish here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 4 cups beef stock (you can also substitute chicken or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup (160g) carnaroli or arborio rice
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup (120ml) white wine
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 1 oz. (30g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pour the stock or broth into a saucepan and warm on the stovetop. It doesn't need to boil or simmer, you just want it warm. The saltiness of the stock is what will season the risotto. If using a homemade vegetable broth or a stock that is perhaps on the bland side, we recommend salting it to taste.
Meanwhile, add the rice into a small saucepan or skillet and toast over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a skillet, add half the butter and the diced onion. Sauté over medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly translucent, then add the rice. Stir all together until the rice is completely coated in butter, then pour in the white wine.
Lower the heat and bring to simmer. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all of the excess liquid. Use a ladle to spoon in just enough of the warm broth to submerge the rice. Bring the risotto to a gentle simmer.
The rest of the cooking process will involve simmering the rice, stirring occasionally, and adding a little more broth as needed to maintain the moisture in the pan. Usually it takes about 16-17 minutes for carnaroli rice to reach "al dente," but consult the recommended cook time for the particular rice you choose and trust your taste!
While the risotto cooks, mix the saffron with about a 1/4 cup of the warm broth. Pour this mixture into the risotto and stir.
When the rice is about 2 minutes away from reaching al dente, stop adding stock so that the risotto has a chance to thicken. When you feel that the rice is cooked and the consistency is correct (soft and creamy but not soupy), turn off the heat completely. Stir in the remaining butter and Parmigiano cheese.
Cover the pan and allow the risotto to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. Buon appetito!