As I have said many times, Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron Risotto) is the first dish I have ever cooked all by myself… I was probably about 6 or 7 years old. It’s always been my favourite risotto and I was so good at it, that whenever my grandfather would visit us from Sicily, he always asked me to make it for him. Today’s recipe is very similar to Risotto alla Milanese, but it has an extra kick to it: dried porcini mushrooms. It is another classic dish from Milan, my home town, where I am at the moment visiting family and friends and having a blast! While Risotto alla Milanese is often served as a side for Ossobuco alla Milanese, today’s version is strictly a main dish. Enjoy and buon appetito everyone!
Dried Porcini and Saffron Risotto
Dried Porcini and Saffron Risotto - a traditional recipe with all the flavours of Northern Italy!
- 320 gms – 11.3 oz. rice Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 50 ml – 1.7 oz. white wine
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads or 1 sachet of saffron powder
- 10 gms – 1/3 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
- ½ cup hot water
- ¼ cup hot milk
- 1 lt – 33.8 oz. beef stock
- 4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
- 30 gms – 2 tbsp butter
- Salt to taste
Start by putting the stock in a pot and heat it on the fire. The stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add the stock to it.
Mix the hot water and milk and put the dried porcini mushrooms in the mixture. Keep them in there for 10 minutes to soften. Then drain the mushrooms and filter the liquid. Keep both aside.
Put the finely chopped onion and the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Now pour in the white wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
Then add enough hot stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low. Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding stock and the mushroom liquid little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
minutes before the rice is cooked, add the softned porcini and the saffron threads. Mix well.
Mix very well, until the rice becomes creamy. Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. You can do that by adding 1 or 2 extra tbsp of hot stock if needed. Check for salt and season to your liking.