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Classic Risotto Milanese


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  • 7 cups beef stock or broth simmering
  • 2 pinches saffron threads - (generous)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut small pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more
  • for garnishing, if desired


Servings 6


Step 1

In a small, heatproof bowl, pour 1/2 cup of stock over saffron threads and let it stand while you begin the risotto.

In a heavy 3- or 4-quart casserole or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onion and shallot until soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring continuously, until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stir until evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Begin adding hot stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring continuously, adding stock only when previous addition is completely absorbed. Add peas with second stock addition. Add saffron-infused stock about 10 minutes after adding the wine. The risotto is done when al dente but creamy, usually 16 to 20 minutes after adding the wine. You may or may not need all of the stock.

When the rice has reached the desired stage of doneness, turn off the heat and quickly stir in the butter, cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Check seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese if desired.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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