The Italian Risotto With A History As Rich As Its Ingredients

When visiting Italy, apart from sightseeing and enjoying the beautiful vistas, art, and architecture, many of us will be incredibly excited about the country's enormous food catalog and enjoying Italy's famously tasty and traditional dishes. And there are so many of them that it's often really hard to try everything we want during just one trip or vacation. Walks of Italy revealed a list of the most famous Italian foods, such as pizza, lasagna, polenta, pasta carbonara, gelato, and delicate risottos, which are prepared in many different ways and with various ingredients. 

In fact, TasteAtlas created a list of all the Italian risottos sorted by popularity. Of course, you might've already tried some of the most common ones, such as the seafood risotto, known as risotto ai frutti di mare, or the soupy Venetian risi e bisi, consisting of rice, peas, butter, stock, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. For lemon lovers, there's the risotto al limone, and those who love colorful spring vegetables should opt for risotto primavera. But in first place, unsurprisingly, is a risotto with a history as rich as its ingredients. Can you guess which one it is? We'll give you a little hint — its color is golden.

Risotto alla milanese is made with saffron, butter, and veal marrow

Yes, we're talking about the famous risotto almilanesela , originating from Milan, hence the name, per YesMilano. The risotto is made with rice, butter, veal marrow, stock, onions, butter, white wine, and the expensive saffron, which gives this luxurious risotto its golden hue. When all is done, risotto alla milanese is topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for even more flavor. Traditionally, this risotto is eaten with a spoon, and it's recommended to pair it with a glass of red wine. 

Interestingly enough, the actor and writer, Stanley Tucci, had his first contact with risotto through his mother's risotto milanese, and ever since, he's known that the dish is made with particular types of rice — either Carnaroli, arborio, or vialone nano varieties (per CNN). And in Tucci's show "Searching for Italy," chef Cesare Battisti revealed how saffron was included in the risotto, according to a popular legend. At some point during the construction of Milan's Duomo, they used saffron in order to stain the glass windows. And one day, as a prank, the workers were fed a yellow rice dish, similar to the windows they colored on the cathedral. 

However, Italy Magazine reveals that the first recipes for risotto alla milanese started to appear in cookbooks in the 1800s. Whether it's true or not, the legend remains, and we're left to ponder the beauty of life over a bowl of this creamy, golden-hued risotto that awakens the senses.