Risotto Alla Milanese

Risotto Milanese, the yellow, Saffron-infused risotto from Milan, is one of my family’s staples. It’s so tasty that it doesn’t require much else to make a delicious dinner – a little grated parmesan cheese is already enough for us if we’re in a hurry. To make it a little more colourful and varied, you could serve a Ratatouille or a salad as a side dish and either some cold cut meat or, of course, the city of Milan’s classic combination with this risotto is the Piccata Milanese, the egg and parmesan coated veal.

The below recipe is my own, it’s how my family has cooked risotto for generations. It is slightly different to the Italian way of cooking risotto as Italians cook it in a wide, shallow pan while continuously adding a little more water while my family uses a half-covered pot and adds all water straight from the start.


Risotto Milanese (for 2-3 people)

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 sachet of powdered saffron
  • 200g risotto rice (my favourite is Arborio)
  • 5dl water
  • 1dl white wine
  • 1.5 tsp beef or vegetable stock powder
  • A dash of milk


Finely chop the onion, add it to a pan with a little olive oil and and fry on low heat until soft.

Add the rice and fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the water, wine, stock powder and saffron. Bring to the boil, half-cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes if you like your risotto al-dente, or 12-15 minutes if you like it softer. While cooking, check from time to time whether there’s enough liquid. If not, add some more water.

Once your desired consistency is reached, take it off the stove, add a dash of milk and season with salt and pepper, mix it and let it stand for 5 minutes, and serve.

2 thoughts on “Risotto Alla Milanese”

  1. Looks nice! May I ask why you add the milk? I never heard of that before.
    I love Risotto alla Milanese with Osso Bucco. But I make it with pork instead of veal shanks, because pork is a lot cheaper here.

    1. Little Zurich Kitchen

      I add milk to all my risottos, it makes it a little creamy which I like. Not sure whether anyone else does it but my mum already did it when I was small 🙂

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