Of Saffron and Santa Margherita

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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POST ON YOUR DREAMBOARD

One of the things I’ve loved best about being a mom, and especially as Flora has been growing older, is traveling with her — just the two of us. Most of our trips are as a family, which is wonderful too, don’t get me wrong (love you, Ale!). But there’s something about just her and I taking off for a weekend, a week, hey, even several weeks if we can swing it! And how special would trips like this be if you had multiple children? What a beautiful way to spend some one-on-one time with each of them, discovering a new country, culture, or even a neighborhood nearby, and getting to know each other in a whole new way.


SLEEP HERE

A stone’s throw from Portofino, Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita Ligure is the kind of 5-star hotel Italian Riviera dreams are made of. Lounge on the beach right out front or sip spritzes under the palms by the saltwater pool after a luxurious massage at their spa. Teleport me there now please!


MANGIAMO

In Italy, a general rule of thumb is that the simpler the dish, the more delicious and the more beloved. This is certainly true of risotto alla Milanese, a sunshine-yellow delight that is a staple all over the country.

We pestered some relatives in Milan to give us their recipe so that we could share it with you. Enjoy it on its own, as a side dish with osso bucco, or jazz it up with sausage, porcini mushrooms, or scampi and other seafood.

Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron Risotto)
Serves: 4 | Cooking time: 25 mins | Preparation time: 5 mins (plus overnight soaking time for saffron threads)

Ingredients
1 tsp saffron threads (plus a few more for garnish)
125 g unsalted butter
320 g Carnaroli rice
80 g grated Grana Padano cheese
1 onion
40 g white wine at room temperature
1 liter vegetable broth
water
salt

Method

1. The night before, place the saffron threads into a small glass and add enough water to cover them. Stir and allow to soak overnight — this will cause the saffron to release its color.

2. Prepare the vegetable broth and bring to a boil in a separate saucepan. The broth should be kept at a boil throughout so as not to slow the cooking of the rice.

3. Chop the onion finely, so that it dissolves when cooked, and flavors the dish without being conspicuous.

4. Add 50 g of butter to a large saucepan and melt over low heat, then add the chopped onion. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep it from drying out, until the onion is translucent and soft.

5. Add the rice and toast it for 3-4 minutes, so that the grains seal and retain their shape throughout the cooking process.

6. Add the white wine and simmer until it evaporates completely. At this point, cook the rice for 18-20 minutes, adding a ladleful of broth at a time as needed, until all of it is absorbed by the rice. Note that the grains of rice should always be covered in broth.

7. Five minutes before the cooking time has ended, add the water with the soaked saffron threads and stir until the rice has become a beautiful golden yellow.

8. At the end of the cooking time, remove from the heat, add salt to taste, and stir in the grated Grana Padano and the remaining 75 g of butter. Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes.

9. Garnish with a few threads of saffron and serve hot.


WHAT WE’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW

Autonomy. If you read last week’s newsletter, you might remember that I was about to host two classes where I shared some of the things I’ve learned over the past ten years of building Italian Fix and other businesses. What a journey it has been! And it was sooo encouraging to see so many beautiful people show up, interested in building their own path towards having “their own thing”. I wanna share that with you, too. So if you’re curious about the cozy internet campfire we had, we’ve got the replay right here.


WISH WE WERE HERE

In the middle of a piazza. Friends (old and new) all around. Listening to live music, or just talking (loudly) about life. Cold drinks and aromatic eats. Maybe a nice salty breeze to cut through the crazy summer heat.


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___

With love + saffron

Bianca

 

 

 

 

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