Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese Recipe – Who has not heard about the Risotto alla Milanese at least once? This is the most famous dish of Milanese cuisine and maybe not everyone knows that it has a long history behind.

It seems, in fact, that the first news about Risotto alla Milanese date back to the year 1809, when the first version of this recipe appears in the book “la cuciniera ce insegna a cucinare alla casalinga” at Giuseppe Borsani.


  • – 4 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock

  • – 1 cup arborio, vialone nano or carnaroli rice

  • – 6 tablespoons butter, divided

  • – 4 tablespoons beef or veal marrow

  • – 2 packets ground saffron

  • – 1 small onion, peeled and minced

  • – 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

  • – Salt


  1. Place the broth in a pot and heat over medium high heat until just to the point of boiling. Lower the heat to barely a simmer and whisk the packets of saffron into the broth until the powder is thoroughly dissolved. Cover the pan and continue heating over low heat.

  2. In a separate pot, over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the marrow and allow them to melt down. Once the ingredients have melted, add the onion to the pan and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Cover the pan and let the onion cook down until it turns translucent and softens well, about 7 – 10 minutes.

  3. When the onion is translucent, add the rice to the pan and sauté for 8 – 10 minutes. The rice should begin to turn translucent and start popping.

  4. At that point, begin adding the warm stock to the pan with the rice, enough to cover the rice. Once the stock has been added, stir the rice mixture once every few minutes to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan as the liquid is absorbed. When the rice has absorbed over half of the liquid, add more stock to cover the rice again. Repeat this process until you have used all of the stock and/or the rice is creamy and can no longer absorb any liquid, about 35 – 40 minutes.

  5. To finish the risotto, add the rest of the butter and the Parmigiano to the rice. Fold the ingredients into the risotto until the butter and cheese have melted and are well distributed throughout the rice.

  6. Taste the mixture and add a pinch of salt to your taste.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat, plate the risotto and serve immediately.


You do not need to use the marrow if you do not have it available. Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan instead.

If using saffron threads, instead of ground saffron, place about 25 – 30 threads into 1/3 cup of water and let them soak for at least 2 hours. Strain the threads from the liquid and add the liquid to the rice as you begin adding your broth to the rice.

You can substitute Grana Padano for Parmigiano Reggiano in this recipe.