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{Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto Recipe

{Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto Recipe

Ever since we launched our Northern Italy group trips, we’ve been all about cooking regional recipes in our kitchen. And when it comes to Milan, it’s hard to get more classic than Risotto alla Milanese. The reason we love it is that the dish uses some of the iconic ingredients that distinguish the region from other parts of Italy — namely, rice instead of pasta, butter instead of olive oil, and Grana Padano instead of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

And, of course, we love it because it’s one of those totally over-the-top dishes that’s so rich (in fat and price thanks to the saffron) that this {Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto recipe it’s always a showstopper. 

Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

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{Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto Recipe

{Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto Recipe

The most classic of all risottos, here is a recipe for the traditional {Risotto Alla Milanese} Classic Saffron Risotto recipe. Made with arborio rice, butter, saffron, and grated Grana Padano cheese, this recipe is totally simple and totally impressive.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 Servings


  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions finely chopped
  • 4 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish


  • Heat The Broth: Place broth and half of the saffron in a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
    Sauté The Onions: Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  • Start The Risotto: Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter and oil. Add the wine and cook until alcohol smell is cooked off. Reduce heat to medium-low and add simmer, adding the broth one ladleful at a time and stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed (it should be at a simmer the whole time).
    Continue adding broth until it is all absorbed and the rice is al dente (firm but not chalky) and the risotto is a porridge-like consistency, about 20 minutes.
  • Finish The Risotto: Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the butter, half of the remaining saffron, the cheese, cover, and set aside to rest a few minutes. Stir in the cheese then taste and adjust seasoning. Divide risotto among serving bowls, top with additional cheese, top with a few of the remaining threads of saffron, and serve. 
Keyword Classic italian recipe, Italian rice dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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