International Day of Italian Cuisines

Risotto alla milanese: a recipe

The recipe for an authentic risotto alla milanese as recommended by GVCI President Mario Caramella.


Essential Equipment

One heavy copper or stainless steel saucepan with one handle 28x10
One wooden cooking spoon (mestola)


300 gm rice, Vialone or Carnaroli (this is not a brand but a kind of rice)
100 gm butter (use only the best quality, unsalted and make sure it is cold from the fridge not half melted and greasy)
150 ml dry white wine (at room temperature not cold)
1 lt broth (made from beef or beef and chicken or veal, keep it light in color but full in flavour, salt sparingly)
1 teaspoon of saffron threads
50 gm white onion, chopped very fine
50 gm grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano (please stop calling everything parmesan)
(Bone marrow. You can skip this ingredient. Alternatively you may pan roast 20 pieces of 1cm thick slices of it and place them on top of your risotto just before serving it)


  1. We use a smart procedure for the onion, which works very well when you are producing for a busy restaurant.
  2. Slowly pan-fry at very low heat the chopped onion until translucent, making sure the onion does not gets dark, and place it a side.
  3. Add 50gm of the butter to the saucepan, making sure it is not too hot otherwise the butter will burn, add the rice and toast it at medium heat and always keep stirring with the wooden spoon.
  4. When the rice is well toasted, add the onion previously cooked, stir well and add the wine, simmer and keep mixing until the wine has evaporated.
  5. Now start the cooking by adding ladle by ladle the broth to about 1cm over level of rice level and keep mixing. Add the saffron threads.
  6. Continue this exercise until the rice is al dente and remove the saucepan form the heat
  7. The rice will be of a runny consistency (all`onda) and ready for the “mantecatura”. This operation will give the risotto a creamy but still light consistency, so add the remaining butter and the freshly grated cheese and stir well until the butter is all melted and the cheese is incorporated into the risotto; if your broth is perfect in flavour you will not need to adjust the salt, so serve the rice on a hot flat plate. In Italy we eat risotto with a fork but in some area of the world you may want to add a spoon on the table mis-en-place.