Golden Elixir of Milan: A Risotto alla Milanese Journey

Embark on a sublime gastronomic voyage with Risotto alla Milanese, the quintessential Italian classic that marries the humble rice grain with the opulence of saffron. 

Each forkful is a harmonious symphony of creamy, al dente Arborio rice, richly coated in a golden-hued, saffron-infused broth, delivering an enchanting aroma that seduces the senses. 

The buttery whispers of Parmigiano-Reggiano intertwine with the earthy undertones of the saffron, creating a texture and flavor so luxurious, it promises a rapturous culinary embrace.

Photo of Risotto alla Milanese served in an elegant white bowl, garnished with a delicate pinch of saffron strands on top, placed on a rustic wooden table with a glass of white wine and a small bowl of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese beside it. The risotto is perfectly creamy, with a rich golden yellow color from the saffron, and there's a silver spoon resting beside the bowl.

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Number of Servings and Ideal Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Ideal Serving Size: 250 grams per serving

Essential Nutritional Information

  • Calories per serving: Approximately 450 kcal
  • Macronutrients per serving:Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g


  • Arborio rice: 400 grams
  • Quality saffron strands: 0.5 grams
  • Homemade chicken stock: 1 liter
  • Finely chopped onions: 100 grams
  • Dry white wine: 150 milliliters
  • Unsalted butter: 50 grams
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese: 60 grams
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: 30 milliliters
  • Sea salt: to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper: to taste
Photo of the preparation process of Risotto alla Milanese, capturing a chef's hands gently stirring the creamy risotto in a stainless steel pot, with a wooden spoon. The pot is on a stove with a low flame, and there are small bowls containing saffron strands, chopped onions, and a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in the background, set against a kitchen with warm ambient lighting.

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Gently toast the saffron strands in a dry pan until fragrant, then crush and steep in a little warm stock to release its color and aroma.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent.
  3. Stir in the Arborio rice, ensuring each grain is coated and lightly toasted.
  4. Deglaze with white wine and allow it to absorb fully.
  5. Gradually ladle in warm chicken stock, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed.
  6. Once the rice is al dente and enveloped in a creamy sauce, remove from heat.
  7. Fold in butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano until it emulsifies into the risotto.
  8. Season with sea salt and white pepper to your taste.

Proven Tips for Culinary Success

  • Use homemade stock for depth of flavor.
  • Maintain a constant simmer with the stock to ensure even cooking.
  • Toast the rice until it's translucent at the edges to unlock its nutty potential.
  • Stirring frequently is key to achieving the perfect creamy consistency.

Anticipated FAQs

  • Q: Can I use a different type of rice? A: Arborio is ideal for its high starch content and firmness. Alternatives like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can be used, but expect subtle differences in texture.
  • Q: Is there a vegetarian alternative for the chicken stock? A: Absolutely, a rich vegetable stock will also yield a delicious risotto.
  • Q: How do I know when the risotto is done? A: Look for a creamy consistency and rice that is tender yet slightly firm to the bite, known as "al dente."