Saffron Risotto

May 24, 2017


For 2 Brets (Bret is my son-in-law) or 4 ladies

  • 2T chopped onion

  • 4T butter

  • 5 hand full of Arborio  

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 4 cups home made canned vegetable broth; more as needed

  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads

  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

  • 3/4 cup of Half and Half cream


In a heavy-based saucepan large enough to hold the rice with plenty of room left over, cook the onion in 4 tablespoons of butter over low- medium heat until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook it over medium heat for about 3 minutes stirring constantly making sure that every grain is coated with butter (it should be shiny). When lightly golden (uniform straw color) add the wine.  Let the wine evaporate stirring constantly. Add hot broth little at the time and the saffron.  Keep cooking, stirring, and adding broth until the rice is al dente but not raw or grainy in the middle, about 20 minutes. When the rice is ready, stir in cream and cheese. Add a little more broth to give the risotto a soupy consistency. Check for salt and ladle onto heated bowls. It is eaten with a spoon.


Buon appetito!



The butter at the beginning is toasting the starch present on the outside of each grain.  The toasted starch with wine and broth makes the sauce.

Stirring is important to slowly remove the toasted starch from each grain. You may substitute sushi rice for Arborio but not long-grain rice because long grain does not have the outside starch.

Interesting Story


Thomas Jefferson, when US Ambassador to France, went to visit the rice farms in Italy and enjoyed the rice so much, that he wanted to plant it in his Monticello farm. At that time it was against the law to export rice.  This did not stop him! Donkeys crossed the Alps and brought the rice to Paris.  

The rice was planted in Monticello, following the directions given by the Italian farmers, but did not grow.  

The Arborio  rice we buy in the US comes from Italy.


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