This is the "classic" risotto. From here you can go anywhere with additional ingredients or flavors. It's fine this way, but you may also consider it a canvas upon which to build your culinary artistry.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan or saucepan. Add the onion, and saute until soft, without browning.

Add the rice, and saute for 2 minutes until the rice is well-coated. Ladle 1/2 cup of stock into the rice, stirring constantly, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is almost dry. Add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time, including the saffron stock about halfway through, until it's all absorbed by the rice and the rice is al dente. The rice should be very moist and creamy, but not runny; the rice should be firm but tender, not crunchy.

Remove from heat, and stir in the raw butter and the Parmagiano cheese. Salt to taste, and serve immediately. Yield: 10 servings.


Risotto alla Milanese

This is prepared exactly the same as above, except use white veal stock, hot, and add 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 cup of the hot stock. Add the saffron stock about halfway through the cooking process.

This risotto is the traditional accompaniment for ossobuco.

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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)