Risotto alla milanese

Risotto Milanese-style   Authentic Italian recipe from Lombardy

Risotto Milanese-style is a typical dish of Lombardy cuisine made ​​with good-quality saffron and meat broth. The real recipe also calls for the use of some 'beef marrow (10 to 50g) to melt with butter. You can also enrich it with mushrooms or sausage and in this way you have an excellent one-plate meal.
Milanese risotto, a dish full of risotto with saffron
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Risotto, Milanese-style

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • For risotto
  • 320 g (11 1/3 ounces) long-grain parboiled rice
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1,5l (3.2 pints - 6 1/3 cups) meat broth
  • 80g (2 8 ounces) onion
  • 2 (0.30g) sachets ground saffron
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • For meat broth
  • 200g (7 ounces) beef, in a piece
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) turkey
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) chicken
  • 1 onion
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 10 minutes
    cooking: 2 hours 20 minutes
    total: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    medium difficulty
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 446 (kcal) 23 % GDA (*)- 1865 (kJ)
    Protein: 11.2 (g) 23 % GDA
    Total fat: 17.0 (g) 25 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 66.2 (g) 25 % GDA
    Sugars: 1.4 (g) 2 % GDA

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Milanese risotto recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare meat stock.
    Pour 2l (4 1/4 pints) water into a pan.
    Add peeled onion and beef meat.
    Season to taste with salt and bring to a boil.
    Once boiling, reduce heat to just simmering point, half-cover and cook for about an hour.
    At this point add chicken and turkey too and continue cooking a further one hour, half-covered and always on low heat.
    Remove fat, filter your stock and keep it boiling while preparing risotto.
  • - Cook risotto.
    Peel and chop onion.
    Put it together with half butter in a saucepan.
    Melt butter and sauté onion over a very low heat. If necessary, add 1 tablespoon hot stock.
    Then add rice and cook over a higher heat until it looks milky, stirring with a wooden spoon now and then, 3 to 4 minutes.
    Add 2 ladlefuls of meat stock, and simmer until absorbed, stirring.
    Continue adding stock, ladle by ladle, until rice is tender and cooking liquid is reduced.
    Shortly before the end of cooking time (5 minutes) whip in saffron.

Just before serving

  • - Turn off the stove, stir in remaining butter and grated Parmesan cheese, if you like, and serve.



  • - The recipe for risotto alla Milanese that I have just described is the traditional one but nowadays our lifestyle suggests that we should cook in a lighter way especially for our everyday menu and shoild choose fat in a different way. So I apply some variants. Instead of butter I use 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and, once turned off the stove, I add only grated Parmesan.
  • - Another suggestion is adding wine (good-quality red wine), before stock, and simmering until absorbed, stirring now and then.
  • - Another tip is not to add Parmesan to the pan but to serve Milanese risotto in individual plates and put a little bowl full of grated Parmesan on the table. Everyone will serve himself according to his own taste. This is very important when you don't know the tastes of your guests and if any of them have lactose intolerance.

Menu planning

  • - Milanese risotto can be a dish for your everyday menu, get-togethers with friends and relatives and, finally, even formal menus. Let's see more details.
  • - Everyday menu. I often make Milanese risotto with no added butter in cold months. I use only extra virgin olive oil. I complete my menu with seasonal green salad and fruit. Remember fats of vegetable origin are to be preferred to fats of animal origin.
  • - Get-togethers with friends. Serve a typical Italian antipasto platter, Milanese risotto, boiled meat accompanied by sauces and to finish a good cake. It's a traditional Italian menu.
  • - Formal dinner party. Make this risotto following the traditional recipe as I've just described. Remaining courses must be made with meat.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - In counting calories there isn't the meat used for broth, that is eaten in another way. So the 446 calories per serving are related only to rice seasoned with butter and Parmesan cheese. Fiber per serving are only 0.6 grams per head.
  • - When I prepare risotto alla Milanese only with olive oil, nutritional values ​​become:
    Energy: 399 kcal (1671 kJ)
    Protein: 11.1g
    fat: 12g
    Fiber, carbohydrates and sugars do not undergo any change.
    The most obvious benefit is the reduction of the amount of calories and fat but also the improvement of fat quality. Animal fat is not healthy even if you have not to demonize and avoid it completely. On the other hand animal fat is already present in Parmesan cheese!
    You have to find the right balance for healthy eating.


What's the right wine for " Risotto Milanese-style "?

Pair a red wine from Lombardy to Milanese risotto such as Botticino.