Try this risotto alla Milanese then check out more risotto recipes, such as our classic vegetable risotto, chicken risotto and chorizo risotto.

Giorgio Locatelli: "As a child there was nothing I looked forward to more than coming home from school to eat food prepared by my grandmother. Every night would be different but my favourite day was Thursday, when we’d eat risotto alla Milanese."


  • 2.5 litres good quality chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400g superfino carnaroli rice or arborio rice
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 40 threads saffron, look for good quality long threads
  • 1 tbsp tomato passata, optional
  • 75g butter, chilled and diced
  • 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated


  • STEP 1

    Bring the stock to the boil, then turn down the heat to a bare simmer.

  • STEP 2

    Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan then cook the onion gently until softened but not coloured (about 5 minutes).

  • STEP 3

    Add the rice and stir it around to coat it in the butter and toast the grains. Make sure all the grains are warm and then add the wine. Let the wine evaporate completely until the onions and rice are dry, then add the saffron. Start to add the stock, a ladleful or two at a time, stirring and scraping the rice from the bottom of the pan as you do so. When each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.

  • STEP 4

    Carry on cooking for about 15-17 minutes, adding stock continuously (if you like, you can add 1 tbsp of tomato passata to bring up the colour). After about 12-14 minutes, slow down the addition of stock, so that the rice doesn’t become too wet and soupy, otherwise when you add the butter and parmesan at the end, it will become sloppy. The risotto is ready when the grains are soft, but still al dente (you might not need all of the stock). Turn down the heat and allow the risotto to rest for a minute.

  • STEP 5

    For the mantecatura (where the risotto is beaten with butter and parmesan to bind the rice and make it creamy), first vigorously beat in the butter with a wooden spoon then beat in the parmesan, making sure you shake the pan energetically at the same time as you beat. Season and serve with crusty bread.

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