2 June 2020

Saffron and Licorice Risotto recipe by Massimiliano Alajmo

Flavorful and authentic, Italian cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. The country’s terroir and culture have given life to a unique culinary diversity. The Royal Mansour Marrakech has put Italian cuisine in the spotlight with Sesamo, the latest addition to the Palace’s Grandes Tables, overseen by multi-starred Chef Massimiliano Alajmo. He uses local produce to create a simple, gourmet and family cuisine.
The Chef reveals a taste of Sesamo by sharing the secrets of his Saffron Risotto. “This saffron risotto is a delicious and a nice alternative to the usual risotto variations and will go down very well with all the family. The bright golden color is like a ray of sunshine!”, says the Chef.


To make the Saffron risotto, you will need the following ingredients:

For the saffron reduction

  • 190 g chicken broth
  • 4 g saffron powder

Dissolve saffron in hot hen broth. Simmer until reduced to a third.

For the risotto

  • 2 l Chicken broth
  • 320 g Carnaroli rice
  • 80 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 70 g dry white wine
  • 60 g butter
  • 50 g saffron reduction
  • 15 g white onion, minced
  • 12 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 g fresh lemon juice
  • 4 g dark licorice powder
  • 1 g saffron threads
  • Pinch of salt
  • Hint of castor sugar


Toast rice in a wide pot with extra virgin oil and onion, add wine and let evaporate. Add salt and saffron threads, continue cooking, adding 30 gr. of saffron reduction and then add broth, a ladle at a time. Once cooked, remove from heat and energetically stir in butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon juice. Emulsify with a little broth and ladle onto a flat plate, allowing risotto to spread. Sprinkle with licorice powder and garnish with a few drops and brush strokes of the saffron reduction.

The quantities of saffron and licorice used may vary according to intensity. The same risotto, with the addition of grated orange zest and parsley stirred in after cooking can be garnished with drops of a blood orange reduction instead of the licorice powder.

Until we welcome you back at SESAMO, we invite you to enjoy this delicious risotto while listening to Royal Mansour’s Italian restaurant playlist for a beautiful journey into the heart of Italy.

Buon appetito !