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    Risotto Alla Milanese

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    Risotto Alla Milanese

    • Preparation time: 5 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes, plus resting
    • Total time: 30 minutes, plus resting 30 minutes

    Serves: 2, generously


    • 500ml light beef or veal stock
    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 60g unsalted butter
    • 120ml dry vermouth
    • A few slices marrow from a beef bone (optional)
    • 100g carnaroli rice
    • 2 good pinches saffron, steeped in 1 tbsp boiling water for 20 minutes
    • 2–4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan


    1. Bring the stock to the merest simmer and keep it like that. Using a solid pot (with a lid), fry the onion in 30g butter until it begins to go golden. Add the vermouth and slices of marrow – if using – and allow to boil away until it has almost disappeared. Now stir in the rice, gently cook for a minute or two until well coated, then add the first ladle of stock. Allow to seethe, keep the heat down low, stir well until the liquid has been absorbed, then add the saffron and its steeping water. Now add more stock and repeat this process until the stock is used up; this should take around 15–18 minutes. Taste the rice from time to time. If the rice is cooked before you finish the stock, don’t worry; conversely, if you think you need more liquid, add a little boiling water.
    2. The inaccurate advice that the rice should be al dente when served makes me very cross. The point at which you need to pay particular attention to the texture is during the final part of the process: when the rice is still just a touch too firm and the mixture over-sloppy, give the risotto a vigorous stir while mixing in the rest of the butter and 1 tbsp or so of Parmesan to taste, until the look of the thing is glossy and slick. Clamp on the lid, remove from the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
    3. Lift off the lid, give the risotto a final stir, season and check that the grains of rice are now fully swelled and give tenderly – but not softly – to the tooth. Spoon at once onto hot plates and serve, offering extra Parmesan at the table.

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