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Saffron-Citrus Risotto Milanese

Saffron-Citrus Risotto Milanese


  • 6 cups chicken bone broth

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (a fat pinch)

  • 1 tablespoon each orange and lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

  • ¼ pound meaty guanciale or pancetta, fine dice

  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or grated

  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 tablespoon each lemon and orange juice

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or pecorino

  • 2 tablespoons butter


Serves: 4 to 6

Warm broth with saffron and zest in a saucepot.

Heat a round-bottomed pan with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat and render the guanciale or pancetta until lightly brown. Add the onion and stir a minute or so, add garlic, then stir in rice and toast 2 minutes or so. 

Add white wine and let it absorb. Begin adding the stock in ladlefuls, a third at a time, stirring vigorously with each addition to develop the starch and stirring to the bottom of the pot all around. The risotto should take 18 minutes to al dente. Add the lemon and orange juice and stir, then add the grated cheese and butter and stir to combine. Ladle into warm shallow bowls and serve.