The origins of this dish belong to an Italian legend about the master in charge of stained glass windows in Milan Cathedral, who employed a keen workman to paint the yellow robes of St Helen. The workman used saffron to colour the glass and he was so passionate about his saffron powder that he was named Zafferano (meaning ‘saffron’) by his colleagues, who claimed that one day he’d probably even add it to his risotto! and one day he did: on the occasion of the wedding of the master’s daughter, he presented two tureens of the golden risotto, coloured and scented with saffron as a gift. This traditional recipe includes beef bone marrow but, if you prefer, use only butter instead.
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