This "historic" and most famous dish from Milan dates
to 1574 and owes it's origin to the wedding feast of the daughter
of a Flemish Master Glass worker who had been called to Milan to work
on the Duomo.
One of his young apprentices particularly adept at mixing his colors
had used saffron to create a brilliant
golden color for the glass.
This same student mostly in a joking manner is known to have given
some saffron to the inn keeper where the feast was to be held asking
that it be used in making the first course of rice.
This colourful dish appeared to the surprise of all the guests and
to this day it can be savoured in any restaurant in Milan.
It is served either as a first course, or as an accompaniment to another
Milanese specialty, "Osso Bucco".
1 veal or beef bone
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 pound Italian Arborio rice
1 1/2 teaspoons saffron (1 gram)
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups beef consomme or stock
approximately 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Place marrow bone in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook for 20
to 30 minutes until marrow is melted.
Use right away or cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine marrow and 2 tablespoons butter in a 6 quart saucepan.
Sweat onion in butter for 10 minutes until softened.
Add rice and saffron. Stir to coat rice with butter.
Add wine and cook to evaporate. Add 1/2 cup beef consomme. Boil
rice stirring constantly until consomme
Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost continuously
until rice is tender but still firm, about 16
Rice will be suspended in liquid, not dry.
Remove from heat.
Add remaining 1/4 cup butter. Add cheese and stir. Serve right away.