Senior Food Editor Tim Cebula shares his tips for creating this classic Italian dish.
Simple dishes demand quality ingredients, and a dish doesn't get simpler—or more iconic—than risotto Milanese. It's a basic risotto seasoned with saffron. But the super-creamy rice and a knob of next-level butter are what deliver pure comfort. Here are the six ingredients that will make your risotto one to remember. This makes a filling, flavorful side for roast chicken or pork or braised veal shanks (osso buco).
View Recipe: Risotto Milanese
Though Arborio rice can work just fine here, pros prefer carnaroli’s superior creaminess. Find it at gourmet markets or order it on Amazon.
Dry White Wine
Its acidity cuts through risotto’s richness. Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc work well; avoid oaky Chardonnay.
Serve slow-roasted pork shoulder for a special occasion with pan sauce and crispy cracklings.
Threads are better quality than saffron powder. You only need a few; too many will give a metallic taste. You can also order this online.
Pastured Cultured Butter
Pricey, but worth it. Butter from grass-fed cows has deeper color, richer flavor, and more healthy fat.
Salty, nutty, and bold: Just a half cup makes the dish taste really cheesy.
The flavor backbone of risotto. Among store-bought options, Swanson is hard to beat for full, meaty flavor (though it's definitely worth making your own in terms of price and just sheer deliciousness).