Vegetarian Milanese Risotto

Como, Italy

I asked an Italian friend what was one thing I should have to eat when I go to Milan, and the answer with little hesitation was risotto. Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish…good comfort food.

I had it…and it was good…so I’ve adapted a Milanese risotto recipe to be vegetarian and possibly vegan. It’s not terribly difficult to make, and should take about 30 minutes, but requires you to be at the stove and attentive.


  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • white wine
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1-2 oz of grated Parmesan cheese, which is optional if you are eating vegan, though you may anger the Italians :)
  1. Bring the vegetable stock to just boiling.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan and saute the onion until it becomes aromatic.
  3. Add the rice and the wine. Let it wine evaporate completely while stirring.
  4. Add the saffron and stir.
  5. Add the stock about 0.5 cup at a time while stirring and scraping the rice from the bottom of the pan. Let the addition of stock absorb into the rice and evaporate, and when it nearly has, add the next 0.5 cup. Repeat until all the stock is used. This should take about 15-17 minutes.
  6. The risotto is ready when the grains are soft, but still al dente. Stir in the parmesan cheese, or if eating vegan, drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top.

Inspired by: BBC food

Photo credit: Jeannie Moulton (the photo is actually of Como, Italy, which I hear does a mean risotto as well)












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