risotto Milanese (saffron) --
plus a variation with fresh peas
This is the classic risotto Milanese: when this risotto is the prima and the breaded veal chop Milanese as the secondo it is to make the mouth water in anticipation.
to cook: (a more detailed an elaborate description of the risotto cooking technique can be found at how to cook risotto).
Bring the stock to a slow simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan (the risotto pan), over medium-high heat: add the olive oil. Add the onion. Cook until soft. Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the oil. Add the white wine. Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add salt. Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid has been absorbed, stirring almost all of the time. After about fifteen minutes, sprinkle in the saffron. Continue adding the ladles of stock until the rice is properly done: twenty minutes or so.
Determine proper doneness by tasting regularly. When it is properly al dente, with a little creaminess, it is ready. Take off the heat. Stir in the parmesan, and the tablespoon of butter. Add a dash of pepper and taste for salt. Serve.
>>Variation with peas: perfect for spring. Use 1 1/2 cups of shelled fresh peas. Bring a medium saucepan filled with water. to a boil. Add the peas and cook until just beginning to soften -- about two minutes.
At the stage, above, where one adds the saffron, also add the peas. That's it!