Tomato-Saffron Risotto Milanese

Tomato-Saffron Risotto Milanese
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 4 orange or yellow tomatoes (about 2 pounds), flesh scooped out and skin discarded
  • 1 32 ounce container (4 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 pinches saffron threads (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 2 cups arugula or baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (a generous handful)


Using a food processor, puree the orange tomatoes. Pour into a medium saucepan and add the chicken broth and saffron. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then keep warm over low heat.

In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat with the oil, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until slightly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in a couple ladlefuls of the warm tomato broth, stirring constantly until absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding the broth, a couple of ladlefuls at a time, stirring after each addition until absorbed and to prevent sticking. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy but not soupy, about 18 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in the butter.

In a bowl, toss the arugula and grape tomatoes with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO; season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cheese into the risotto; season with pepper. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the salad.