Italian Regional Recipes Lombardia Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Milanese Saffron Risotto

Milanese Risotto, Risotto alla Milanese, also known as risotto giallo (literally “yellow risotto”) is one of the most famous culinary symbols of the city of Milan.

As it’s common for any risotto, Italians most often eat it as a piatto unico, the only and main course of a meal; it is not unusual, however, to serve the Milanese Saffron Risotto as a side dish accompanying some Ossobuco Alla Milanese, or mushrooms, sausages or even prawns.

Make sure to keep your broth very warm and your butter very cold: this is the secret for a delicious, super creamy, rich risotto.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15-20 mins | Cooking time: 2h + 20 mins

  • Meat broth: 700g of beef brisket
    1 beef bone, preferably knee or other joints: 1 lt
  • Carnaroli or Arborio rice: 280 g
  • Beef bone marrow: 40 g
  • Parmigiano cheese, grated: 30 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 30 g
  • Saffron pistils: 0,125 g or powder saffron: a teaspoon
  • White wine, dry: 70 ml
  • Celery: 1 stalk
  • Onion, medium-sized: 1
  • Carrot: 1
  • Salt and black pepper: to taste


Peel and and cut both the carrot and celery roughly in 2 or 3 pieces, Peel and halve the onion.

Place veggies and meats in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover with the cold water, it must be cold in order to extract all the flavour from the ingredients.
Place the pot over a low heat and cover with a lid. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook at least 2 hours. You may need to adjust the heat to keep a gentle simmer.

Tip: To give your broth even more flavour, try adding to it a handful of fresh parsley and some whole black pepper grains.

Put saffron pistils in a small bowl or cup and cover them with warm broth; set them aside for about 20 minutes.

Clean the remaining onion and mince it very finely. Melt half of the butter in a large pan and brown the onion on low heat. You can already add a tablespoon of broth if the onion tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the beef bone marrow to the onion and stir thoroughly, then add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes on medium heat. When the rice is toasted, add the white wine and let it simmer on high heat until it has evaporated completely. Turn the heat down and cook the rice by adding just about enough warm broth to cover the rice, a ladle at time (you are not makink a soup) stirring throughout the whole process to prevent the risotto from sticking.

Tip: it’s very important for the broth to be hot, almost boiling, otherwise it will prevent the rice from cooking properly by cooling it down.

Add saffron pistils or a teaspoon of saffron powder to risotto along with their broth and season to taste.

Turn off the heat and add the remaining butter, which must be very cold, and half of the grated Parmigiano.

Mix thoroughly, then cover the pan with a lid and leave it to rest for 1 or 2 mins before serving it.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.85 out of 5)


  1. This risotto looks creamy and the perfect comfort meal to cozy up on the couch with! Looking forward to making this soon!

  2. Italian cuisine is second to none! I’m impressed that so much care goes into the preparation of this risotto. The flavor is incredible.

    1. Marsha,
      you’re right, this risotto requires care and a pinch of patience, but then it pays you back in so much taste and creaminess.

Leave a Reply to Sandi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.