Skip to main content

Milanese risotto

The risotto from Milan is the world standard of this delicious Northern Italian dish.


1 c rice (Arborio)
1 onion (large)
1⁄4 c wine (white wine)
1⁄2 t saffron (toasted threads)
2 T butter
5 c broth (chicken broth or stock)


Take a large skillet and add equal amounts of olive oil and butter.

Slice and dice the onion then sauté the pieces until brown, scoop up and set them aside.

Spread olive oil over the base of the same skillet until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Heat to medium and add a touch of butter, then add the rice. Stir gently but thoroughly to coat the rice with oil and onion flavor.

Add the chicken stock.

Top with saffron, then pour on the wine. Cook on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and top with a sprinkling of Romano cheese if desired.

Total time
55 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
4 servings


Italian risotto is made with short grain rice, preferably Arborio rice. Carnaroli or Vialone are also used as they are very similar.

There are variations on the Milanese Risotto and many of them are equally tasty. A purely vegetarian risotto is possible, of course. Substitute mushrooms for the chicken stock, for example.

The important character of risotto should be retained in any recipe, however. That means, the final result should be creamy, not spicy. The rice should not clump together, grains should move about freely. If they clump, you may have been a little stingy with the olive oil.

Be sure to stir often enough to keep the grains well exposed to the chicken and vice versa. It takes practice to make a fine risotto and don't be too unhappy if your first try is less than perfect. It's hard to make a great rice dish.

Good luck and buono appetito!


Italian cuisine

Northern Italian dishes tend to use butter, Southern ones use olive oil. This risotto recipe uses both.

moderate, rice
appetizer, main course, side dish
Italian food recipes