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Playing Risotto Milanese


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • A fat pinch saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • A fat handful fresh flat-leaf parsley tops, finely chopped


Serves: 4


In a saucepan, combine the stock and saffron, bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.

In a risotto pot or other round-bottom pan, heat the oil (2 turns of the pan) over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and stir for 1-2 minutes more. Add the rice, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Add the wine and cook to evaporate. Begin adding the hot chicken stock, a few ladles at a time, stirring constantly and cooking until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Continue adding stock this way until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes total.

Stir in the butter and Parm, and garnish with parsley.