Risotto alla Milanese

Adam Liaw
Made in Milan: Adam Liaw's simply elegant Risotto alla Milanese.
Made in Milan: Adam Liaw's simply elegant Risotto alla Milanese. Photo: William Meppem

In Milan, food is confident. And confidence is cool. It's simple and homely, but still indulgent enough to effortlessly impress any guest. If you want to take your risotto alla Milanese to the next level, a little roasted bone marrow is the perfect extra indulgence. See my tip for details.


750ml low-salt chicken stock (check stocks are gluten-free if required)

500ml low-salt beef stock

2 large pinches saffron

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely minced

2 cups arborio rice

½ tsp salt

1 cup dry white wine

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

40g unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tbsp finely shredded parsley, to serve (optional)

freshly ground black pepper, to serve (optional)


1. Heat the stocks and saffron together in a small saucepan and hold at a low simmer.

2. Heat the oil in a separate large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, frying for a minute or two until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and salt and continue to cook for about a minute until the rice looks chalky and a little toasted, and is well-coated with the oil.

3. Add the wine and stir the rice until the liquid is absorbed. Add a third of the heated stock and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the stock is absorbed. Add a further third of the stock and repeat. Finally, add the remaining stock and cook, covered, for a further 4 minutes, still stirring occasionally.

4. Taste a few grains of rice; they should be soft but still al dente and the risotto should be a consistency that spreads on a plate (i.e. not a thick paste).

5. Turn off the heat and add the parmesan and butter.

6. With a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the parmesan and butter into the risotto until it is emulsified and creamy. Serve the risotto with a little extra parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley and black pepper, if you like.

Adam's tip: To add bone marrow to your risotto alla Milanese, just heat your oven to 240°C. Place marrow bones on a baking sheet, season with salt, and bake for about 20 minutes, until starting to char. Scoop the marrow from the bones and scatter it over the cooked risotto.