Tag Archives: alfredo

Parmigiano Reggiano – crisps / alfredo / rind broth

If life gives you lemons you are supposed to make lemonade right? What do you do when someone hands you 3 enormous blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese?  Well I make Alfredo, Parmesan Crisps, Risotto, and Parmesan rind broth and basically grate it on anything and everything I want.

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wine bottle just for scale – wink wink

A couple of weeks ago a friend showed up with 3 blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for me to do with how I please. I truly was dumbfounded. Firstly how I was so lucky? Secondly how much did they get that they could share?  A VERY good friend of theirs sent them a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for Christmas. I couldn’t imagine sending or receiving such an extravagant gift. That’s a good friend to keep!
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I put one of the blocks into my food processor and came out with 12 cups of grated cheese. Just to have on hand; I remember when I was a kid the green canister of grated “cheese” in the fridge was the standard. My children grew up with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano; spoiled I tell you, just plain spoiled. With no green canister in our lives what to do with all the rinds; I used to just throw them in the trash. For several years now I have been saving the rinds of the “tiny”(well; now) blocks of Parm. and put them in my risotto and soups and sauces to add additional flavor to the broths. I recently read about making broth with Parmigiano Reggiano rinds. I have always used chicken broth for risotto but I am SO going to use the rind broth and probably; well at least for a few months use nothing else for soups, stews and my creamy salty risotto.

Parmesan crisps – on a baking sheet lined with parchment or better yet a Silpat
mound a tablespoon full of grated cheese and flatten each a bit. Bake at 325’F for 5-6 minutes.
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Simple Alfredo Sauce – 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper. In a sauce pan melt butter. Add heavy cream and simmer (do not boil) for 3-5 minutes. remove heat and add grated cheese and pepper.
Serve over fettuccine noodles or spinach ravioli like I did.

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you want it thick enough to coat the back of your spoon

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swipe your finger across the spoon to test for doneness

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Spinach Ravioli Alfredo sprinkled with fresh basil

Parmigiano Reggiano rind broth – 8 quarts of cold water, 7-8 cheese rinds, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 3 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Strain over a large bowl. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days or break up into smaller containers and freeze for a few months.
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I personally wouldn’t make just a rind soup; I really didn’t like the taste of the plain broth but using it added a rich depth of flavor to risotto and using it as a braising liquid is just plain heavenly.

Fettuccini Alfredo – Leaving tonight (Fri) for Italy

I am feeling especially loved this week! I will have been in Rome for one day while you are reading this. The week of my departure, it was just too damn cute; my in-laws were waiting for me when I got home from work to say Arrivederci. Our friends that we met up with in Montreal came and spent the night, no less their anniversary night with us, my dad came to visit me, and my Mom wished me safe travels. My Co-workers were so happy for me and excited for the stories and pictures for when I get back. I went out last night with some good friends and hopefully meeting up for lunch with some more good friends; just feeling loved; I must admit it brought ought a funny comment from me. Damn you guys do know I am coming back right? Yes my husband made it quite clear that I had to come home!

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It all started when I made the decision that I would go visit my daughter before she ends her time in Japan later this year. We talked a lot about either going to her “home” in Japan or maybe meet somewhere else; like somewhere in the middle; cut the flight time for both of us. I looked up all direct international flights from Logan in Boston and from her local airport and of course Tokyo. That at least narrowed it to a few countries.

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We chose Italy which was really a no-brainer; my dream is to eat my way from the North to the South or vice versa I’m flexible either would work for me. While this trip is not my “dream” trip it will definitely be an awesome adventure that I get to share with my baby girl who is turning 25 while we are in Florence. And what a better way to spend her birthday than to attend a 7 hour cooking class. It includes a walking tour of a food market to purchase our items of course, then we are brought out to the country to an old farmhouse where we will make our 5 course dinner and dessert while trying the local vino. Yeah it sounds amazing, I will report back if it is as awesome as it sounds.

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My husband was insistent that I write my blog sitting at a café in Rome; while I LOVED the idea, I mean really; how flipping cool would that be. Unfortunately since I was traveling alone I decided packing super light was the only way to travel and since we were spending time in two or more cities; I wasn’t going to lug my laptop. Next time during my “dream” Italian trip, damn straight I will be sitting at several café’s writing and sharing everything around me with you.

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It was delicious but this picture looks like it needs more pepper

In honor of my trip I am going to share my quick version of Fettuccine Alfredo that I made for my guys this last week with the homemade pasta I brought back from Montreal.

Alfredo Sauce

1 pint heavy cream

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano

Freshly cracked black pepper

Broccoli – cooked in the pasta water till aldente – optional

Shrimp – cooked in the Alfredo sauce or cook in garlic butter before adding – optional

Cook pasta according to directions using fresh or boxed works fine

Heat the heavy cream over medium low heat in a deep straight sided saute pan

Add butter and whisk gently to melt, do not boil but simmer for about 5 minutes or so to thicken. Sprinkle in the cheese and stir to incorporate; Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Add cooked pasta to the pan and Mangia Mangia!

Arrivederci – I need to go pack now, I leave tonight!