Risotto alla Milanese versione Classica

Classic Milanese Saffron Risotto

This risotto is traditionally rich, so a green, fresh salad is always a good accompaniment. It also needs a light red wine such as a Valpolicella or a Bardolino. The saffron quantity is ultimately up to you and also dependent upon how strong your batch of saffron powder turns out to be. I usually add one sachet first, taste, and adjust as necessary.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, chopped fine
  • oz raw beef bone marrow, chopped
  • cups risotto rice, such as Vialone Gigante
  • 6 cups simmering rich broth traditionally made with veal or beef and assorted vegetables
  • 1 to 3 sachets of saffron powder
  • cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and beef marrow and fry very gently.
  2. When the onion is completely soft, add the rice. Stir until the grains are thoroughly coated and are crackling hot but not browned.
  3. Begin to add the hot broth, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more.
  4. Continue to cook the rice in this way, making sure that the rice always absorbs the broth before you add more liquid.
  5. About halfway through cooking add the saffron powder and stir thoroughly until evenly combined.
  6. When the risotto is creamy and velvety, but the rice grains are still firm to the bite, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining butter and the cheese.
  7. Cover and allow to rest for 2 minutes, then stir again and transfer to a warmed platter. Serve immediately with extra freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.