Risotto alla milanese – Milanese risotto: a bit of history.

From the Duomo roof - Photo © Javier
From the Duomo roof – Photo © Javier

History of Italian cuisine Risotto dates back to the Renaissance and is a descendant of the Spanish paella. The dish is said to have originated in 1535, when Charles V made his son Philip duke of Milan, beginning what was to be nearly two centuries of Spanish rule. Saffron added to the rice turns it a deep yellow and adds a subtle yet pungent flavor.

Bone marrow is essential for a good risotto alla milanese. Many butchers give it away for nothing. You can freeze the marrow in small quantities and use it as you need for risotto.

The rice for risotto alla milanese should be Italian superfine Arborio rice, or, better, Carnaroli rice, slightly moist and al dente when done. The rice will continue to cook after it has been removed from the flame, so be ready to add the butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese immediately.

The entire process of cooking the risotto takes roughly 45 minutes and requires your full attention.

In Italy we say “Il riso nasce nell’acqua e muore nel vino,” meaning rice is born in water and dies in wine, so, in addition to the wine used for cooking it,  have a good dry white wine ready to serve with the risotto.

Risotto recipes:

Risotto alla milanese
Risotto con la zucca
Risotto con tartufi

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