Risotto Milanese is a nice side dish to serve with meats. It's wonderful, of course, with Osso Bucco. As a general guide, I allow 1/4 cup of dry rice for each person as a side dish. And don't omit the saffron - it's really what defines this traditional risotto.
serves 4 as a side dish
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced finely
- 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 large pinch saffron threads
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Lower heat, keep warm.
In the risotto pan, add the olive oil and onion. Cook the onion slowly for several minutes, until soft but do not brown. Add the rice and cook the rice for a couple of minutes. Add the saffron. Add the white wine and cook for a couple of minutes until the liquid has cooked off.
Start adding the broth. Add a couple of ladles initially and stir. Use a rubber spatula instead of a spoon. This really is the best tool - you can really lift the rice off the bottom of the pan. When you begin adding the broth, start timing the risotto. It should take between 20-25 minutes. You should stir the rice as much as you can, not allowing it to stick to the bottom of the pan. Do not boil the rice, just keep it on a simmer. As soon as the liquid has cooked off, keeping adding the broth by the ladleful. After about 20 minutes, taste the rice. It should be soft, but still retain a little firmness. When you think it is done, do not add any more liquid. Four cups of broth is usually just right. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, turn off the heat and add the parmesan. Serve hot and add more grated parmesan to the top if you like.
Tip: Use real Parmigiano Reggiano, if you can, and grate it yourself. Look to make sure the rind has the Parmigiano stamp on it. I use this cheese myself and I do not throw the rinds away after I have used all the cheese. I will cut off a chunk of the rind and throw it in when I make risottos and let it cook along with the rice, flavoring the risotto.
Favorite pan for risotto: Mauviel's copper chef's pan