Risotto alla Milanese with Mushroom Sauce

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

Risotto alla Milanese is a classic Italian dish originating from Milan. It is a creamy and flavorful rice dish cooked with onions, white wine, saffron, and finished with butter and Parmesan cheese. The saffron gives the risotto its distinct yellow color and adds a delicate aroma. It is often served as a main course or as a side dish to accompany various meats and vegetables.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes



  • 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
  • pepper


  • 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.


The calorie count provided is an approximate value for the rice + mushroom sauce, per person. If serving the rice alone, the approximate calorie count per person would be around 375 calories. Mushroom sauce only would be around 70 calories per person.  Please note that these values are estimates and may vary depending on portion size and specific ingredients used.
Calories: 440kcal
Course: dinner, Main Course, starter
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian

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