Return to listing

Risotto alla Milanese

This recipe is only suitable for risotto (arborio) rice, which needs quite different treatment from long-grain rice. A high proportion of liquid is used, the rice is cooked in an uncovered pan, and a good deal of stirring is necessary – particularly towards the end of cooking. It's a relatively simple dish but absolutely beautiful if made properly. You can either serve it on its own as a first course or it's very good served as an accompaniment to Ossobucco.

 Risotto alla Milanese

  Serves 4

 risotto (arborio) rice, measured to the 12 floz (350ml) level in a measuring jug
 4 oz (110 g) butter
 ½ level teaspoon powdered saffron
 1 medium onion, chopped
 2 tablespoons bone marrow (optional; try asking an obliging butcher for marrow bones)
 5 tablespoons dry white wine
 about 2 pints (1.2 litres) boiling Chicken Giblet Stock (click here for recipe)
 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) plus extra to serve
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
Need help with conversions?
There is no list of equipment specified for this recipe.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.


Begin by melting half 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 bone marrow and cook, over a low heat, for about 10 minutes until softened.

Stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two before adding the wine and some salt. Stir gently once, then simmer over a low heat, without a lid, until the liquid has been absorbed (about 10-15 minutes). Now put in a ladleful of the boiling stock and again let it simmer until the stock has nearly all been absorbed but the rice is still moist. Continue adding the boiling stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is tender but still creamy. There should still be a very little liquid visible – a risotto should be soupy rather than mushy. Stir as necessary to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan – particularly towards the end.

When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese. Cover and leave to stand, off the heat, for 5 minutes before serving. Season to taste then serve with lots more freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the table.


Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School with Waitrose
Click here to go to

Related recipes

Chicken Giblet Stock 

Chicken Giblet Stock

Fresh stocks are now available in tubs from supermarkets, but if you need a large quantity these can be expensive. Here's how to make chicken stock, which can be used in my soup recipes.

Ossobuco Serves 4


Slow-cooked shin of veal with tomatoes and wine: a true taste of Italy. Gremolata - garlic, parsley and lemon zest - sprinkled over at the end makes it even better. Serve with rice, preferably risotto.




Popular topic
Latest post
Ask Lindsey... Little Mo
21 Aug 2014 22:36
Coffee Break thank you/what a lovely post
20 Aug 2014 22:11
Food and travel Short break ideas
13 Jul 2014 08:31
Ingredients Naina ~ Gateaux de Yaourt
13 Aug 2014 15:12
Can Anyone Help? 9 in tin
22 Aug 2014 00:04
Books me too
17 Jul 2014 16:38
Equipment Bake in a Mug
15 Aug 2014 09:02
Gardening Wattles and moles
21 Aug 2014 19:13
CMS solutions by