Recipes Savoury Recipes

Milanese Saffron Risotto

I found this recipe in a newspaper on the Tube ages ago and it’s one of my favourites.  I’d make it every day if saffron wasn’t more expensive than gold.  I’m not exaggerating, it really is that delicious.  Also I’ve always wondered, making risotto is such a labor intensive process, so how do they do it in restaurants?  Is there one guy whose sole job it is to watch the risotto?  Who knows.
(The lovely color comes from the saffron)

Milanese Saffron Risotto
Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe

1 teaspoon of saffron threads
1 1/4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
Salt and pepper to taste

(You may as well grate more parmesan over the top.  Am I right?)
Heat the stock in a saucepan, add the saffron threads and put over the lowest heat just to keep it warm.
Melt the 3 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide, shallow saucepan over a low to medium heat, add the chopped shallots and cook for a couple of minutes or so, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until softened.
Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the marsala wine, which will bubble up excitedly. Keep stirring until it is absorbed.
Start ladling in the hot, golden, saffron-infused stock, allowing each ladleful to absorb as you stir before even thinking of adding the next. Stir and ladle the stock into the rice until it is cooked but still has a slight bite to it. This should take about about 20 minutes by which time you should have finished all your stock.

Turn off the heat, stirring still, and beat in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the grated parmesan, then season to taste. Top with additional parmesan

(I realised that this picture makes it look like Sam and I are splitting this bowl of risotto.

No. We like to eat way more than that.  That is just one serving.)


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  • Ashley Barnhill

    Yummm!I’ve actually never made risotto so I’m going to have to try this!! Thanks for linking up with Jess and I!

    • Thank you for hosting! And just so you know, when I first made risotto a few years ago it went wrong… horribly horribly wrong. It took me almost a year to work up the courage to try again, but I’ve been making them ever since! xx

  • I love risotto. It’s not something I usually make at home, so I always try to order it when I go out for Italian.

    This looks really yummy. Love Nigella’s recipes!

    • Thanks! Nigella is the best! That is a woman who has her life together. xx

  • This looks really good! Do you watch Top Chef? Whenever someone makes risotto it’s always a big deal and usually they do it wrong.

    • Haha thanks Amanda! It’s because making risotto requires the patience of a saint! Since I don’t have that when I make it, it requires a lot of music/bad tv on in the background to keep me entertained during the endless stirring. xx

  • I’ve never had risotto, but after seeing this I need to!!! How could you go wrong with these great ingredients?!! Thanks for linking up with us! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Jessica! It’s an easy recipe but heavy on the labour-intensive part (ie constant stirring) so I’d try a risotto out at a restaurant to make sure you like it before putting in the effort yourself. Thanks for hosting! xx

  • Mmm.. This looks delicious! I have to confess: Every time I hear risotto, I think of Chef Ramsey. I’m guilty of watching too much Hell’s Kitchen.

    Your table setting is so cute!

    • I just watched a Ramsey Kitchen Nightmare’s marathon last night! I LOVE some of the insults that he comes out with. They’re ridiculous and terrifying at the same time. xx

  • Kristen

    I think all of those cooking shows have scared me away from making risotto!! I’m with Alex ^^ I can’t help but think of Chef Ramsey every time I hear risotto!! haha. Maybeeee I’ll get up the courage to attempt to make it!

    • Don’t listen to that mean Brit! I have faith that as long as you aren’t in a hurry you can make a delicious risotto! But I get it. I have that fear of making a souffle. People are always yelling about them falling in the oven etc. And frankly I stomp around the house WAY too much for something that delicate. xx

  • Yum, this sounds delicious!! I’ve only made risotto once and it took FOREVER, but was so good!

    • It does take a ludicrous amount of time to make. I huff and puff and make put-out noises in the kitchen while I make it… but I just love eating it too much! xx

  • Amy Powell

    oh girl you are speaking my language. these are 2 things (risotto & saffron) that I’ve been craving recently. awesome.

    xoxo, Amy @ Interpret As You May

    • If those are two things that you having been craving then you have to make this recipe. I wish I could take credit for inventing it, but that’s the genius of Nigella for you instead.

      Also I just went to your blog and I absolutely love it. A new follower- it’s precious! You’ll have to let me know what brand your glasses are too…(In a non-creepy way) I’ve been scouting for some new ones and yours are just what I want! xx