Saffron risotto

Saffron Risotto or Risotto allo Zafferano, is a beloved Italian dish that bears witness to the rich culinary traditions of Italy. The use of saffron, one of the world’s most precious and aromatic spices, dates back to ancient times. Saffron was highly prized not only for its flavor but also for its vibrant color, which it imparts to the risotto. In the Lombardy region of northern Italy, where Risotto allo Zafferano has strong roots, saffron was cultivated and traded for centuries. This dish reflects the historical significance of saffron and its role in Italian cuisine. Its golden hue and delicate flavor make it a luxurious and cherished part of Italian gastronomy.


  • Moderate

Wine Pairings

  • Not Available

Servings For :

  • 4 People


  • Approximately 40 minutes of preparation and cooking


  • Moderate

Italy Region

  • Lombardia


  • Not Available


  • 320g (about 11.3 oz) of Arborio rice (or Carnaroli rice)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 750ml (about 3 1/4 cups) of vegetable or chicken broth, kept hot
  • A pinch of saffron threads (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 100ml (about 1/2 cup) of dry white wine
  • 50g (about 1/2 cup) of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in a few tablespoons of warm water for about 10-15 minutes. This will release the saffron’s vibrant color and flavor, creating the foundation for your dish.
  2. In a large skillet or wide, shallow saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until they become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat the rice with the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Pour in the white wine and stir until it’s mostly absorbed by the rice.
  5. Add the saffron and its soaking liquid to the skillet. Stir well to evenly distribute the saffron’s color and flavor, creating the signature golden hue.
  6. Begin adding the hot vegetable or chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and al dente, which should take about 18-20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and butter until the risotto becomes creamy and silky.
  8. Season the risotto with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve the Saffron Risotto hot, garnished with an additional pinch of saffron threads for an extra touch of vibrant color, if desired.

Enjoy your Risotto allo Zafferano, a delicious and visually stunning Italian dish that celebrates the historical significance of saffron in Italian culinary heritage.

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