Classic Risotto Milanese

Vegetarians may like to know you can buy a Parmesan 'style' cheese from Bookhams

Serves 4 as a main course

This recipe is adapted from The Delia Collection: Italian

Classic Risotto Milanese
 Arborio rice, measured to the 350ml level in a measuring jug
 110g butter
 ½ teaspoon (about 0.4g) saffron stamens
 1 medium onion, chopped small
 100ml dry white wine
 1.2 litres simmering chicken stock (to make your own see related recipe below)
 4 heaped tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano (see recipe intro) plus extra to serve
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
Equipment: You will need a large heavy based saucepan


First of all crush the saffron to a powder with a pestle and mortar.

Next melt 60g of the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the saffron and allow 1 minute for the heat to draw out the flavour.

Then add the chopped onion and cook, over a low heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes until softened.

Meanwhile pour the wine into the mortar so it can soak up the remnants of saffron powder.

When the onion has softened stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two before adding the wine and a rounded teaspoon of salt.

Increase the heat a little, stir gently and simmer without a lid, until the liquid has been absorbed.

Now put in a ladleful of the simmering stock, give it a stir, and again let it simmer until the stock has nearly all been absorbed but the rice is still moist.

Continue adding the simmering stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is tender but still creamy (about 25 – 30 minutes), the risotto should be soupy rather than mushy.

Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and encourage the rice to release its creaminess– particularly towards the end.

When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the remaining butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Cover with a tea towel and leave to stand, off the heat, for 5 minutes before serving.

Season to taste then serve with lots more freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on the table.

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