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Classic Risotto Milanese

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 7 cups simmering beef stock or broth
  • 2 generous pinches of saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnishing if desired


  • In a small, heatproof bowl, pour 1/2 cup of stock over saffron threads and let it stand while you begin the risotto.
  • In a heavy 3 or 4 quart casserole or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onion and shallot until soft andgolden, about 6 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring continuously, until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine and stir until evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Begin adding hot stock in 1/2 cupincrements, stirring continuously, adding stock only when previous addition is completely absorbed. Add peas with second stock addition. Add saffron-infused stock about 10 minutes after adding the wine. The risotto is done when al dente but creamy, usually 16 to 20 minutes after adding the wine. You may or may not need all of the stock. When the rice has reached the desired stage of doneness, turn off the heat and quickly stir in the butter, cream and Parmigianno-Reggiano. Check seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese if desired.