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Risotto alla Milanese

Seasoned with saffron, risotto alla Milanese is the classic accompaniment to Osso Buco (see related recipe at left). A small amount of this aromatic spice will add inimitable flavor and a hint of yellow color to the dish. Saffron threads are preferable to powder, which loses its flavor more quickly and can be adulterated with other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 pinches of saffron
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,
     plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer and add the saffron. Reduce the heat to low and keep the stock warm.

In a soup pot or large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until each grain is well coated with oil and translucent with a white dot in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Begin adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.

When the rice is tender but firm to the bite, after 20 to 25 minutes, stir in the butter and the 1 cup cheese. Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese at the table. Serves 6.

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