Saffron Risotto (Risotto allo Zafferano), a simple and easy recipe for a weeknight meal, or a light lunch. This classic risotto is a typical dish of Northern Italy, but now widespread in all Italian regions. The few ingredients enhance the aromatic qualities of saffron which also gives that beautiful golden color that makes this dish so unique.
- 2 Tbsp evo oil
- 1 Tbsp butter + more for finishing
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 packet (0,100 g/0,0035oz.) saffron powder
- 200 g (3/4 cup) Carnaroli rice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup Grana Padano
- Pour vegetable broth into a pot and keep on low/medium heat.
- Heat up oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in a medium-deep saute pan (or an enameled cast iron pot).
- Add in the minced onion and saute on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the rice and coat well with the oil/butter. Toast the rice for about 1-2 minutes stirring constantly, then pour in the white wine, stir, and cook till wine dissipates about 2 minutes.
- Add the first 2 ladles of broth into the rice and stir. Keep the heat to a medium setting.
- Once the broth is almost all evaporated, add the next ladle and sir. Repeat this for about 15 minutes, stirring often but not constantly. The rice should be almost cooked.
- During the last 5 minute cooking time, in the last ladle of broth dissipate the saffron powder. Pour it into the rice and stir.
- When the broth has almost all evaporated but the rice is still a bit runny and al dente, turn off heat, add in the last of the butter and the Grana Padano. Stir well until all melted and incorporated. Cover and let sit for a couple of minutes.
- Spoon into dishes and enjoy warm.
You can replace the vegetable broth with meat (usually beef) broth, to make the saffron risotto even tastier.
The broth must be kept on low/medium heat in order not to slow down the cooking time, and added to the rice a ladle at a time so that the grains release the starch gradually.
Risotto is best made and served immediately. Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days and may be turned into arancini.