Risotto Alla Milanese

Risotto Alla Milanese is probably one of the most classic Milanese dishes and is also known as Risotto Allo Zafferano. This dish stands on its own as an entree but is also often served as a side with Ossobuco Alla Milanese and other dishes. The beautiful yellow color comes from the spice Saffron, which adds an incredible richness and earthy flavor.

Risotto Alla Milanese

It only takes a few ingredients and lots of stirring! The trick is to use plenty of liquid so that the consistency is creamy and not dry and to add the chicken stock a little at at a time.

ingredients for risotto

For added richness and flavor I added a tablespoon of bone marrow, but it's completely optional.


When the rice is nearly done, make sure to leave the consistency slightly soupy (see above photo) then add the Parmesan, stir and cover it for one minute.

risotto allo zafferano

Don't forget to top with plenty of freshly grated Parmigiano! The below portion is for two people with no leftovers so feel free to double it if you are cooking for a few people! If you have any trouble finding Saffron, you can get some on Amazon - I like getting the little pouches of it here.


1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs butter

1 tbs bone marrow (optional)

1/2 cup Arborio rice

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1-2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 Saffron packet

1/4 cup Parmesan


  • in a small saucepan, heat up the chicken broth and bring to a simmer

  • while the stock is heating up, heat the olive oil, bone marrow and butter in a separate pot over medium heat and begin cooking the onions. Once soft, add the rice and cook for another minute until 'toasted'

  • add the wine to the pot and cook on medium-high heat until the wine is fully absorbed

  • dissolve the saffron into the chicken stock and begin adding the chicken stock a little at a time to the rice, continuously stirring - this should take about 20 minutes. To test if the rice is fully cooked, try it and make sure it's not too al dente. If it is, just keep adding more liquid.

  • Once the rice is just about fully cooked, add the Parmesan and cover it for a minute before serving. Top with additional Parmesan, if you desire.

risotto alla milanese

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