I have to admit, I am a formaggio (cheese in Italian) addict and I love all of the great Italian choices including fresh Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and Ricotta, but my absolute favorite is Parmigiano Reggiano.
Parmigiano Reggiano is the Diva of parmesans and well worth choosing only the authentic version. It is a hard cheese with a sharp , salty and nutty flavor that both stands alone as part of an antipasti and elevates many other traditional Italian dishes .
I use the rind of the cheese in vegetable and bean soups (Italian Wedding Soup) and all of my tomato sauces to give them that Italian umami flavor that only Parmigiano Reggiano can deliver. In the spring, fresh vegetables integrate perfectly with this culinary wonder to produce marvelous salads and entrees.
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano adds flavor to meatballs and to another Italian favorite – pesto. When mixed with ricotta and mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano creates a delicious lasagna or manicotti filling, making it a must in every Italian food lovers refrigerator.
Parmigiano Reggiano is also great at the end of a meal with an assortment of cheeses and fresh fruit. In the mood for an after dinner drink? Pair it with a tawny Port or delicious Sauterne.
Here are a couple of our favorite recipes using Parmigiano Reggiano that will put spring on your table and in your step.
Roasted Asparagus with Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Yields 4 Servings
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon white truffle oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
In a bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Roll the asparagus in the mixture to coat
Place asparagus on a baking sheet
Roast in oven until fork easily punctures thickest part of stem, about 10 minutes.
Plate and spread Parmigiano Reggiano on the top
Yields 4-6 servings
- 4 ounces pancetta cubed (bacon or Guanciale can be substituted)
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound Fettucini or similar pasta
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- Kosher salt to taste
Saute pancetta over medium low heat stirring frequently until the fat renders without the pancetta browning for about 5 minutes. Drain through a strainer and reserve the drippings and the pancetta separately.
Whisk the eggs and yolks together thoroughly
In the interim, cook the pasta al dente according to the directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Mix the pasta, the egg mixture, 1/8 cup of the pasta water and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the drippings.
Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano , one third at a time and coat the pasta mixture completely.
Add salt, pepper and addition pasta water if needed and mix thoroughly. Garnish with additional cheese if desired.
RAISE YOUR SPIRITS AND GET THE DISH!