Saffron risotto ( risotto alla milanese): the recipe and all the tricks to make it outstanding.

Risotto allo zafferano: ricetta e trucchi per farlo perfetto.

It’s been a long time since I decided to make a post about risotto and all the tricks I’ve learned to make it perfectly ( risotto alla milanese in this case but the tricks will work for every kind of risotto).

Then life happened, never took a pic of my risotto because it must be eaten quickly, at its best…

But I did it few days ago, took a quick pic with my cellphone and decided it was time to write it, no matter if I had a glamourus picture or not, I bet you don’t care about that if I let you serve the best risotto you’ve ever eaten at home, with no fuss and great results.

As usual, even if Mr. Google deeply dislikes it, I don’t want to write chapters over chapters of personal stories or random rants which include specific keywords and phrases, so long I have to put a button ” jump to the recipe”.

This is pretty bad for my position into Google ranking but you can give some help sharing this post if you try the recipe and find it good! 🙂

DISCLAIMER: I’ve called this risotto alla milanese because that’s how many identify saffron risotto but the original risotto alla milanese has also marrow bone inside.

Saffron risotto ( risotto alla milanese): the recipe and all the tricks to make it outstanding.

Servings: 2


  • 16 full tbsp rice ( Carnaroli, Arborio and Vialone nano are the best Italian rices for risotto)
  • 1 full tbsp good quality butter
  • 1/2 shallot finely minced
  • 1 1/2 lt meat broth ( about 6 cups)
  • 200 g grated Parmesan ( about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 bag powdered saffron


  • 6/10 saffron pistils per person


  • NOTE: if you use saffron pistils you have to put them into hot broth or water (a small espresso cup is ok) 40/60 minutes before using them, keep it in mind before starting.
  • In a small pan sautee lightly butter with shallot, set aside.
    ( this part is totally optional: many people don't want any extra aroma into the rice, many other, otherwise, here in Italy, grew up with the risotto made with "soffritto" and that hint of onion/ shallot is part of the risotto itself for them)
  • 8 full tablespoons per person are enough for a good, full dish.
    Don't add more, especially if you provide a second course and/or a dessert and you dislike leftover risotto as I do.
  • Put the pan filled with broth on low fire, it must simmer, not boil.
    You could need a little bit more broth ( just dilute it with some more water) or a little less, the important thing is the broth must always be added hot so if you add water let it return to the simmering point.
  • Set on high fire a big pan, let it become very hot, low fire and pour in the rice, as dry as it exit from the box.
    Let it toast, moving it very often and carefully watching it to avoid burns.
    It must lose its almost transparent color and become chalk white ( more or less).
  • When the rice has the right color add the first ladle of broth.
    It will sizzle a lot, mix well using a spatula or a cooking whisk, not a spoon.
    No rice grain should stick to the pan's sides or to the spatula itself for the whole cooking time.
  • When the first ladle of broth is gone ( evaporated) you have to add another one, this way til the rice is soft but with a little resistance at the grain's core.
    To understand if it's time for another ladle swipe the spatula from one side to another, if a "trail" forms and the rice won't return on place after you swiped you need to add broth.
  • Taste the rice to check the saltiness ( keep in mind you will add Parmesan too) and the tenderness.
    You can add a pinch of salt if needed.
  • When you're very close to the cooking point add saffron pistils and the broth where they were infused or melt a bag of saffron powder into a ladle of broth, add it to the risotto and stir very well.
  • When the rice is done turn off the fire, add butter and shallot if you've prepared them and grated Parmesan.
  • Mix well, if the risotto is too thick add a little broth, mix again, set it to the desired consistency ( usually creamy and very loose).
  • Serve immediately.

You might also like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights