The legend of the invention of Risotto alla Zafferano goes back to the year 1574. The Duomo di Milano, the magnificent Gothic cathedral, was being built, and a young apprentice named Valerius was in charge of staining the decorated glass for the windows. Everybody was teasing him because he appeared to have added saffron to the pigments to obtain a more brilliant color.
Tired of the teasing, he decided to return the joke and added saffron to the rice to be served at his master’s wedding. The rice turned out so good that the idea spread immediately throughout the city and became the popular dish we know today.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Bazzani from Chianti Ristorante shows us his interpretation of this classic dish. Here’s a list of Chef Fabrizio’s Cooking Schools this Fall if you’d like to learn tips from a master while you sip wine and watch a fantastic meal prepared from start to finish.
Risotto allo Zafferano
1 qt stock personal preference.
4.5 oz butter.
1 small shallot minced.
5 oz grated grana padano cheese.
1 glass of wine.
12 oz rice vialone nano.
- In a shallow skillet on medium low heat, toast the rice lightly for 2 minutes.
- Add the butter and shallot, let all the ingredients sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the wine, let it come to boil and reduce.
- When almost dry add 1cup of stock and a healthy pinch of saffron.
- As the rice cooks it will absorb all the moisture, be ready to add more as you go until the kernels will be cooked to your likings.
- Before serving add the cheese, season to your likings.
- Let it rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.