Mmmmmmmm, Parmigiano Reggiano. Need I say more. This Italian cheese, a.k.a: formaggio, is one of my absolute favorites. That salty, yet slightly creamy taste; just a little can go a long way. Or as in this week’s Sunday Pasta, Penne con Crema Parmigiano, —a lot—can be simply divine if you know what to add to compliment and balance out its flavor. So let’s learn a little about its origin.
Parmigiano Reggiano has many regions that can claim its fame. Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, part of Bologna and part of Mantua all can declare some bit of ownership of this unpasteurized cow’s milk creation of the “Zone Tripica.” I think one of the most interesting aspects of the cheese is that until this day the production still uses no machinery and includes no additives. Wow, we are talking about a cheese that has been unchanged for some seven hundred years! Amazing! It is aged for about eighteen to twenty-four months and one of the best things about it is the texture. You can easily grate without putting too much elbow grease into it.
This is a rich, powerful pasta—fit for a king or queen. Try it out and I am positive you are going to think it is royally delightful.
Check out the Penne con Crema Parmigiano recipe, as well as the wine pairings for this dish.
Donna Picciocchi, Editor