Rich and creamy Italian rice infused with saffron, butter and Parmesan cheese
I’ve always preferred rice over pasta as a side dish or addition to sauces. To keep it exciting, I love experimenting with different vegetables to create flavorful rice dishes. One of my absolute favorites is Risotto alla Milanese – a simple yet incredibly delicious rice recipe that takes taste to a whole new level. It pairs perfectly with meat dishes or vegetables in a rich sauce, like the mushroom version I’ve prepared here. This risotto is so fantastic, it can even stand alone as a main course or appetizer.
This risotto is an original recipe by renowned Italian chef Giovanni Ciresa from Venice, who, together with the late world-famous British chef Gary Rhodes, prepared this risotto for the television show “Rhodes across Italy.” I decided to switch things up from the original recipe where the risotto was traditionally served with Osso Buco. Instead, I opted for a creamy mushroom sauce as a perfect substitution.
The velvety texture of this Risotto alla Milanese perfectly complements the savory mushroom sauce. a vegetarian twist to the traditional dish, making it an excellent option for those who prefer a meat-free meal. The mushrooms add earthy flavors to the creamy saffron-infused rice, creating a delightful vegetarian delight.
IT Risotto alla Milanese recipe : A Taste of Northern Italy
- 400 g Carnaroli rice - [if unavailable, Arborio rice will suffice]
- 2 shallots
- 150 ml olive oil
- 30 g butter
- 150 ml white wine
- 1 litre chicken broth
- 2 g powdered saffron
- a few threads of fresh saffron
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 400 g button mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 100 ml cooking cream
- 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1-2 tsp vegetable seasoning
- Heat the oil over low heat and gently sauté the shallots and rice until the shallots become translucent and the rice turns glassy. Be careful not to let them darken; a quick sauté of 2-3 minutes is sufficient.
- Add a glass of white wine and stir, allowing the wine to slowly evaporate.
- Once the liquid has evaporated, start adding the chicken broth gradually, stirring constantly. Add about 150ml of broth at a time, and continue stirring until the liquid evaporates before adding the next 150ml. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked, which usually takes around 35-40 minutes.
- During this cooking process, after 25 minutes, add the powdered saffron. A couple of minutes before finishing, add the fresh saffron, stir well, and remove from heat.
- While the risotto is still hot, carefully incorporate the butter and Parmesan cheese, ensuring not to crush the rice.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
- For the mushroom sauce:
- In a saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in oil. Add sliced mushrooms and stir.
- Season with Vegeta or salt, finely chopped thyme, and parsley. Sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water. Cook for another minute, season with black pepper, and remove from heat.
- Serve the Risotto alla Milanese with mushroom sauce as a versatile dish, perfect as a main course or a side accompaniment to various meats or vegetables.