Mmmmm....risotto. One of my all-time favorite Italian dishes. What I love about risotto is the versatility. It is one of those dishes that you can do a hundred different things with once you learn how to make the base recipe. You can serve it as a first course or a side dish (which this recipe would be perfect for), or you can add in your protien and vegetables and this becomes a full meal all in one pot. Personally, I love shrimp and zucchini risotto as a main course. In Sicily I also had a seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and octopus that topped any other that I have ever tried.
It took a lot of patience for me to wait this long into the Cucina DiBella project to use a risotto recipe, but I wanted to make a risotto dish that was truly regional. Risotto Milanese, is just that. A culinary specialty of, you guessed it, Milan, this dish adds saffron to give the risotto a special flavor and distict yellow color. Though the saffron is really what makes this dish, the spice is insanely expensive. There isn't really a great substitute for saffron in terms of flavor, but you can check in the Mexican food section of your grocery store for azafran or safflower, which is Mexican saffron. Another option for a substitute is turmeric. This will give you the yellow color for your dish, but won't mimic the flavor of saffron.
Adapted from Epicurious
-Serves 4 as a side dish or first course-
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice, and stir to coat the rice with the olive oil. Stir another minute until the rice is toasted.
- Add 1 cup chicken broth. Stir the rice constantly until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- When liquid has been absorbed, add another cup of broth and continue stirring. Continue adding the chicken broth 1 cup at a time until the rice is tender and creamy, but still al dente.
- Once the rice is done cooking, turn the heat to low. Add the butter, saffron, and parmigiano cheese. Stir continuously until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Serve with extra parmigiano cheese grated on top.
Ryan's rating of Risotto Milanese - Ryan worked late last night and missed dinner, so I'm going to have to rate my own meal. So, my rating of Risotto Milanese is a 4. The risotto came out perfectly and creamy, but personally I like something more in my risotto like roasted vegetables or some kind of protien. That would have bumped it to a 5er.
UPDATE: We have a new home computer! (One of the few perks about having a husband who works at Best Buy.) It arrived late last night, so today I should be able to put my camera software on there and get the pictures up from the last 3 dishes. And with any luck, I shouldn't run into an issue like this again for a long time!