Risotto Milanese

Having cheerfully not eaten cheese for nearly a year now, it takes a lot for me to admit that Risotto Milanese is maybe one recipe that really does benefit from a little Parmesan. It isn't a total deal-breaker - this recipe works perfectly well without any cheese - but with just one tablespoon of Parmesan, the Risotto is truly transformed into something brilliantly decadent and delicious - and Arancini made with leftovers the next day just wouldn't be the same without it. Call it a New Year, once a year, treat?!


  • 1 Onion
  • 1 stick Celery
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 mug Arborio Rice
  • Big glass of White Wine
  • 1 Pint Hot Veg Stock
  • Pinch Saffron
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan (OPTIONAL!)
  • Parsley, chopped

Finely chop the Onion and Celery and gently fry to soften (not colour!) – 15 minutes or so should work with just a small pinch of salt and some Olive Oil

When they are soft, throw in the Bay Leaf and the glass of White Wine

Cook a little and then add the Rice, stirring until the alcohol has been absorbed a little

Keep stirring now – all the time – adding a ladle of hot Stock at a time.  It should take 15 – 20 minutes to cook – and half way through you should add the large pinch of Saffron

You will likely use all the stock – and you may want more hot water at the end to get the right consistency – wet, but not runny; the rice should still have some bit but should taste cooked

Once you think it is done – take it off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and Parsley.  Check for seasoning – it may need Salt depending on how salty the Stock is

Give the Risotto a moment or two to rest – and then serve immediately

A good Salad with this would work – or a Piedmont Pepper maybe?  Lots of Black Pepper too…

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