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Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe


Indulge in the rich and comforting flavors of Italy with this delicious Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe. This classic dish originates from Milan and features creamy Arborio rice delicately flavored with saffron, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Perfect for a cozy night in or a special dinner with loved ones, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and bring a taste of Italy to your table.

Origin and History Of This Recipe:

The Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe has a rich history dating back to the 19th century in Milan, Italy. Legend has it that the original recipe was created by a young apprentice named Valeriano, who was working on the stained glass windows of the Duomo di Milano. To celebrate the completion of the windows, Valeriano added saffron to the traditional risotto recipe, creating a vibrant and luxurious dish fit for royalty. Since then, Risotto alla Milanese has become a beloved Italian classic enjoyed by people all over the world.

Things To Expect In This Post:

In this post, we will delve into the history and origins of the Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe, providing a detailed list of ingredients, step-by-step preparation instructions, cooking time and servings, personal anecdotes, nutritional information, health conditions to consider, tips and tricks, equipment needed, variations or substitutions, serving suggestions, storage and reheating instructions, and FAQs to ensure you have all the information you need to create a perfect Risotto alla Milanese at home.

Ingredients List:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer. Keep it warm on low heat.
  2. In a separate large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add a ladleful of warm broth to the skillet and stir until absorbed. Continue adding broth, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is creamy and al dente (about 18-20 minutes).
  6. Stir in the saffron threads, remaining butter, and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Cooking Time & Servings:

Total cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Personal Touch:

Risotto alla Milanese holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of cozy dinners with my family in Italy. The rich flavors of saffron and Parmesan cheese create a comforting and indulgent dish that never fails to impress. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I do!

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:

  • Calories: 350
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Protein: 10g

Health Conditions And People To Avoid This:

Unfortunately, Risotto alla Milanese may not be suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity. It is also high in carbohydrates and may not be ideal for those following a low-carb diet. If you have any specific health conditions or dietary restrictions, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before enjoying this dish.

Nutrition And Benefits To The Body:

Saffron is rich in antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Parmesan cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. Arborio rice provides complex carbohydrates for energy.


Eating too much saffron can lead to an upset stomach or dizziness. Excessive consumption of Parmesan cheese may contribute to high cholesterol levels. Consuming large quantities of Arborio rice can lead to blood sugar spikes. Eating moderately is perfectly fine, but acquiring excess of these nutrients is harmful.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use homemade chicken or vegetable broth for the best flavor.
  • Stir the risotto constantly to release the starch and create a creamy texture.
  • Add a splash of additional white wine for extra acidity and flavor.

Equipment Needed:

  • Large skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Wooden spoon

Variations or Substitutions:

  • Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth to make it vegetarian.
  • Add cooked shrimp or chicken for a protein boost.
  • Use brown rice or cauliflower rice for a healthier alternative.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish with fresh parsley or extra Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with a side salad or crusty bread.
  • Pair with a glass of dry white wine for a complete Italian dining experience.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet with a splash of broth or water to refresh the creamy texture.


Bring the flavors of Italy into your home with this exquisite Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a comforting meal, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings and transport you to the streets of Milan. Buon Appetito!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use a different type of rice for this recipe?
  • Arborio rice is traditionally used for risotto due to its high starch content, which creates a creamy texture. However, you can use other short-grain rice varieties like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano as well.
  1. Can I make this recipe vegan?
  • Yes, you can make this recipe vegan by using vegetable broth and substituting the butter and Parmesan cheese with plant-based alternatives.
  1. What can I serve with Risotto alla Milanese?
  • Risotto alla Milanese pairs well with grilled vegetables, roasted chicken, or a simple green salad.
  1. How can I make this dish gluten-free?
  • Ensure that all the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free, including the saffron threads, chicken or vegetable broth, and any additional seasonings.
  1. Can I freeze leftover risotto?
  • Risotto tends to become mushy when frozen and thawed. It’s best to enjoy it fresh or refrigerate any leftovers for a few days.
  1. How do I know when the risotto is ready?
  • The risotto is ready when the rice is creamy and al dente, with a slight bite to it. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Enjoy preparing and savoring this delicious Italian Risotto alla Milanese Recipe!

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