Saffron is an ancient spice, known since Egyptian times. Initially used only for dyeing fabrics and creating perfumes and ointments, once its amazing culinary properties were discovered, it became a prized ingredient with which to create tasty dishes of golden hues like saffron risotto, also known as risotto alla Milanese which uses the pistils or pasta. This first course, in its simplicity, brings out the best aromatic qualities of saffron but not only that, thanks to its strong coloring power, the grains of rice are embellished with a pleasant and captivating golden color that makes this dish so special. A little magic combined with the creamy touch of mantecatura, indispensable in the preparation of risottos, will give you a unique and unmistakable taste. Call it risotto alla Milanese, or saffron risotto, in any case it will surprise you with its simplicity!
– Saffron in pistils: 1 teaspoon
– Carnaroli rice: 320g
– Butter: 125g
– Onion: 1
– Grana Padano DOP grated: 80g
– White wine: 40g
– Water: q.b.
– Vegetable broth: 1l
– Fine salt: q.b.
– Saffron Risotto Calories
Preparation: 5 min
Cooking: 25 min
Note + 1 night of saffron stigma infusion
1. To make saffron risotto (or risotto alla Milanese), first put the pistils in a glass, pour enough water over them to completely cover them, mix and let them infuse overnight, in this way the pistils will release all their color.
2. Prepare the vegetable broth, the recipe requires one liter of it.
3. Peel and finely chop the onion so that it can dissolve in cooking and not be perceived while enjoying the risotto.
4. In a large pan, pour 50g of butter from the total amount needed, melt it over low heat, then pour in the chopped onions and let it stew for 10-15 minutes, adding broth to prevent the stew from drying out, the onion should be transparent and soft.
5. Once the onion is stewed, pour in the rice and toast for 3-4 minutes, so that the grains seal and hold their cooking well.
6. Blend with white wine and let it evaporate completely. At this point, proceed with the cooking for about 18-20 minutes, adding the broth one ladleful at a time, as needed, as it is absorbed by the rice – the grains should always be covered.
7. Five minutes before the end of cooking, pour in the water with the saffron pistils that you had infused, stir to flavor and color the risotto a beautiful gold.
8. When the cooking is done, turn off the heat, add salt, stir in the grated cheese and the remaining 75g of butter,
9. Stir and cover with a lid, let it rest for a couple of minutes, and saffron risotto is ready.
10. Serve it hot, garnishing the dish with some pistils.
Store saffron risotto (or risotto alla Milanese), closed in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator, for up to two days. Avoid freezing.
The wine and broth you use should be at room temperature and the latter should always be boiling, to avoid slowing down the cooking. Saffron risotto lends itself to being paired with numerous dishes: in addition to the typical pairing with Milanese tradition’s osso buco, it is excellent with sausage, as in the famous risotto alla monzese, with mushrooms, usually porcini, but also with prawns and other seafood. Try garnishing it with crispy onions for an extra touch!