Risotto with Saffron

Risotto alla Milanese


From How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan, 2005

Adapted from original, for the kosher kitchen


6 cups savory vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands or powder
1/2 small yellow onion
3 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups rice for risotto (Arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Put the broth in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.  If using saffron strands, finely chop them and put in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of the hot broth; set aside.

Peel and finely chop the onion.  Put it in a heavy bottomed braising pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Place over medium high heat and sauté until it turns a dark golden color, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until it is well coated.  Add about 1 cup of the hot broth and continue stirring.  Add only enough broth to produce the consistency of a rather thick soup and wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add the saffron broth and season with salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until the rice is al dente, 5-10 more minutes. 

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon butter and the Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Serve at once.


Yield: 4 servings as a main course
Dairy/Total time from start to finish: 35 minutes

Kosher Parmigiano Reggiano is available at Zabars.com and kosher for Passover version is at KosherItalia.com.