Risotto Milanese

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This recipe is based on a type of risotto from Milan, Italy which traditionally calls for saffron and bone marrow.

Time 40 mins
Servings 4
Difficulty Medium




  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 large Yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb Rice, Arborio
  • ½ cup White wine
  • 6 cups Stock, chicken or vegetable, warmed
  • 1 tsp Saffron, threads
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • To taste Salt
  • To taste Black pepper, freshly ground


  • In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in Arborio rice and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Add white wine, 2 cups of stock and saffron. Turn heat to high until broth comes to a simmer and adjust temperature to maintain simmer. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
  • Working ¾ cup at a time, add remaining stock, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (this should take 20 to 25 minutes). Rice should be al dente when finished.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and add butter. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve.


  • Do not use cold stock as this will negatively affect the cooking process 
  • Add more or less stock depending on the consistency you desire (soupy versus tight) 
  • You can substitute approximately 7 shallots for 1 large onion
  • Alternatively, you can use saffron powder
  • If desired, stir in 2 oz of raw bone marrow at the end of cooking 
  • Serve with a poached egg, if desired