Top | Side Dishes

Risotto Milanese

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

primary-image, l


This rice dish is the traditional accompaniment to Lamb Osso Buco. It's supposed to be made with bone marrow, but you're more likely to have leftover bacon fat on hand, which makes a good substitute.


  1. ½ cup dry white wine or vermouth
  2. 1 large pinch saffron threads
  3. 4 to 5 cups chicken stock
  4. 2 Tbsp. butter
  5. 2 Tbsp. bone marrow, bacon fat, or finely chopped bacon, prosciutto, or lardo
  6. ½ large onion, diced
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1½ cups risotto rice (arborio, vialone nano, carnaroli, etc.)
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Put the saffron threads in the wine to soak.
  2. Put the chicken stock in a saucepan; bring it to a low simmer, then keep warm while making the risotto.
  3. Put the fats in a large, deep skillet and melt them over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about five minutes, then add the rice. Stir to coat the rice and cook for a few minutes to toast it.
  4. Pour the wine and saffron into the pan. Cook, stirring regularly, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add some of the warmed stock (about ½ cup) and do the same, cooking and stirring for a few minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Repeat in ½ cup increments until the rice is al dente and has a smooth, creamy consistency; you may not use up all of the stock.
  5. Season to taste, then mix in a little Parmesan. Serve warm, passing the remaining Parmesan at the table.