In Italy, nearly every town has its own signature risotto. In Milan, it is flavored and enriched with saffron, which gives it a golden color.
6 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoons saffron pistils
7 tablespoons butter, cubed, at room temp.
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 ½ cups Vialone Nano rice or Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ tsp salt
Heat the stock to just below boiling. Remove ½ cup of it to pour into a bowl, and drop in the saffron to dissolve. Set aside.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan. Add onion and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Raise the heat to medium. Add the rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for three minutes. Deglaze with the wine and cook until it evaporates, stirring, about three minutes.
Begin adding the stock by the ½ cup and cook, stirring and adding more broth when the liquid has been absorbed, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock – but, you may need a little more. Strain the reserved saffron broth over the risotto through a sieve lined with paper towel. Stir in this golden yellow stock along with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, the Parmigiano and the salt. Remove from the heat, cover, let rest 2 min, and serve at once. Serves four.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.