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Citrus Risotto Milanese

Citrus Risotto Milanese


  • 5 cups chicken stock

  • 1 small orange—3- to 4-inch strip of zest (from the orange part only) removed with a vegetable peeler plus 1/4 cup juice

  • 1 lemon—3- to 4-inch strip of zest (from the yellow part only) removed with a vegetable peeler plus about 1/4 cup juice

  • 1 scant tsp. saffron threads

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • ⅓ lb. meaty pancetta, chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 ½ cups Arborio or carnaroli rice

  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp. fennel pollen (optional, but recommended)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 3 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Step 1

In a medium saucepan, heat the stock, citrus zests, and saffron over low.

Step 2

In a round-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until the fat begins to render, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic. Using a risotto spoon (a round-edged paddle with a hole in the middle) or wooden spoon, cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice, thyme, and fennel pollen (if using); season with salt and pepper. Cook until the rice is toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir constantly until absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a ladle of stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding more stock by the ladleful, stirring constantly until the stock is absorbed between each addition. With each addition of stock, stir vigorously to release the starch from the rice, which will make the risotto creamy. From the time you add the wine, the risotto should take 18 minutes to cook.

Step 3

Stir the butter into the risotto. Add the Parm and the citrus juices and stir until the cheese melts. The risotto should be pourable and very creamy. Serve in shallow bowls.