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Catholic Recipe: Risotto alla Bresciana


  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • few grains pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon beef marrow*
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Italy


Food Categories (2)


Feasts (3)

Generations of Montinis have enjoyed a dish called Risotto alla Bresciana, and this is the recipe which Pope Paul VI has authorized for use in this book. He remembers it as one of the first dishes which his mother served to him and his brothers in their home in Brescia, and it is still a favorite. Risotto alla Bresciana is a rich soup, thick with rice, which takes its place in the menu as a main dish, accompanied by oven-toasted buttered bread and a green salad with garlic dressing. Try it for supper on a chilly evening when appetites are keen.


* If you cannot buy marrow as such, ask your meat dealer for a marrow bone. Heat the bone in a little water until the marrow softens and can be scooped out.

Cook onions in butter with salt, pepper, parsley, and saffron, until soft but not brown. Add marrow slowly; stir to blend. Add wine slowly. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in rice. Add chicken broth slowly. Simmer 3 minutes longer. Serve in soup dishes, generously sprinkled with grated cheese.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965