The main content
Tomato-Saffron Risotto Milanese

Tomato-Saffron Risotto Milanese


  • 4 orange or yellow tomatoes (about 2 pounds), flesh scooped out and skin discarded

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (32 ounces)

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (about 2 pinches)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)

  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces

  • 2 cups arugula or baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)

  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a generous handful)


Using a food processor, puree the orange tomatoes. Pour into a medium size saucepan and add the chicken broth and saffron. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then keep warm over low heat.

In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat with the EVOO, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until slightly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in a couple ladlefuls of the warm tomato broth, stirring constantly until absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding the broth, a couple of ladlefuls at a time, stirring after each addition until absorbed and to prevent sticking. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy but not soupy, about 18 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in the butter.

In a bowl, toss the arugula and grape tomatoes with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO; season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cheese into the risotto; season with pepper. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the salad.