800ml beef stock

30ml shallots or onion finely chopped

30ml diced beef marrow,pancetta, or prosciutto optional

75ml butter

30ml vegetable oil

275g arborio or other risotto rice

2ml powdered saffron or 5ml chopped whole saffron

Salt if necessary

Fresh ground black pepper

60ml grated parmesan cheese as a minimum add as much as you like


Serves: 4 hungry people

Source:  The Classic Italian Cookbook, Marcella Hazan


Heat a deep sided saute pan or heavy bottomed casserole to medium-high.

Add 45ml of butter and all the vegetable oil then shallots with beef marrow, pancetta or proscuitto if using.

Saute until shallots are translucent then add the rice and stir until well coated with butter and oil.

Bring stock to simmer in a pan.

Add appox 150ml of stock to the pan good ladle full then stir in over a medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then add amother 150ml and repeat until all the stock has been used, continually stirring.

After about 15 mins add half the dissolved saffron. When that liquid has been absorbed add the rest of the saffron then continue with more stock.

Continue with this process until the rice is tender but al dente, there should be a bit of texture to the rice. If you run out of stock use some water.

Take off the heat, add the grated parmesan and remaining butter, season and serve.

Selected recipes

If you like the flavour and aroma of saffron to be strong in this risotto, then add the saffron later in the cooking.

But be careful it doesn't upstage the risotto.