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Risotto Milanese-Style (Risotto alla Milanesa)

Serves 4

Risotto Milanese is a creamy, short-grain rice side dish often associated with Osso Buco, as in the similar and related recipes links. I call this risotto recipe Milanese "style" because I made one change to the traditional recipe. I substituted olive oil for some of the butter so that the finished dish would not be quite as rich. It is delicious this way but, if desired, you can use all butter. The saffron is essential in this risotto. Though very expensive, a little goes a long way in flavor and color. If omitted, you will still have a tasty risotto, but not alla Milanesa.

Ingredients

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and add the saffron threads. Cover and keep warm at a simmer.

Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until all of the grains are coated with the oil. Add the wine and stir well. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and stir again. Stir often until the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth and stir again. Repeat the process until all of the broth has been used and the rice is tender and very creamy, about 20 minutes. (Depending on the age of the rice, you might need to add more broth. Water will be fine if you run out of broth. On the other hand, you might not need all of the broth.) When the rice is done, stir in the remaining butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Serve immediately.