With its nutty taste, crumbly texture, and heady aroma, Parmigiano-Reggiano is sublime on so much more than pasta. Here’s how to pick a good wedge and wield it in five new and deeply delicious ways.
The Real Deal
To find an authentic piece of this aged cow’s-milk cheese, which hails from a specific region in northern Italy, look for its name dotted on the rind. Always grate it straight off the hunk—or, if you need more than a cup, pulse chunks in a food processor.
Keep the cheese sealed in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a month, and put rinds in a resealable plastic bag for up to two months (or six, if frozen).
5 Unexpected Ways to Use Parm
1. Enrich Marinara
The rind is tough but full of flavor: Melt a hunk into simmering tomato sauce to add umami as it dissolves. Remove leftover pieces with a slotted spoon.
2. Upgrade a Finishing Oil
Warm a cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan, and add the rind. Remove from heat and steep until cool, then strain the oil into an airtight container and use for dipping, drizzling over vegetables, or whisking into a vinaigrette.
3. Improve on Croutons
Toss cubed bread with olive oil, grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees on a rimmed baking sheet, turning a few times, for about 15 minutes.
4. Crisp Up Cutlets
Mix equal parts grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs to coat chicken or pork before pan-frying.
5. Savor Every Sprinkle
Grate it over scrambled eggs, seasoned with a few grinds of fresh pepper, for a cacio e pepe take on breakfast.
Watch the easiest way to shave Parmesan: