__Grating Cheese for Pasta

Serves: 5



Not every pasta needs cheese, though. Most Italian cooks will tell you that pasta dressed with shellfish sauces, like spaghetti with clams or lobster, are never tossed with cheese, because the cheese flavor would overwhelm the flavor of the seafood.

But as with everything else in Italian cooking, there are exceptions to this rule. Recently in Rome in a very good restaurant, I was served bucatini pasta with octopus in tomato sauce topped with pecorino cheese. To be on the safe side, though, avoid adding cheese to anything but pasta with meat, tomato, and vegetable sauces.

When purchasing cheese, it is best to buy it in one piece and grate it yourself as close as possible to serving time. Tiny flakes of grated cheese dry out quickly and lose flavor when they are exposed to air, so the less time between grating and eating, the more flavorful the cheese will be. I like to place a chunk of cheese and a small grater on the table and let everyone grate his or her own.


An old-fashioned box grater is still perfect for grating cheese for pasta. The medium-size holes give the cheese good texture, which enhances its ability to blend with the pasta and sauce and improves the flavor. Another grater I like is the Mouli grater, which has a perforated rotary drum. You put a piece of cheese in the hopper, crank the handle, the drum grates against the cheese and out it comes in fine shreds.

A microplane grater, which was originally a tool used by woodworkers, also does a good job, but it grates the cheese so fine it may throw off your measuring when using the cheese for recipes.

If I have a large quantity of cheese to grate, I use the food processor with a steel blade, though it is not ideal. Grana cheeses are too hard for the shredding blade, and the solid steel blade grinds the cheese into little pellets. It is not as desirable as cheese that has been grated, but it does not make a difference in cooked dishes because the cheese melts.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This __Grating Cheese for Pasta recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook:
01- Introduction
02- The Italian Pantry
03- Kitchen Equipment
04- Italian Wines
05- Glossary
06- Sources
07- Bibliography
_* An Antipasto Platter
_* Artichokes
_* Asparagus
_* Beans
_* Broths
_* Bruschetta and Crostini
_* Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage
_* Calamari, Octopus, and Conch
_* Cannelloni
_* Carrots
_* Chicken Cutlets (Scaloppine)
_* Clams and Mussels
_* Cornmeal
_* Dried Pasta
_* Eggplant
_* Farro and Barley
_* Fennel
_* Frittatas
_* Fruit Desserts
_* Gnocchi
_* Green and Wax Beans
_* Ice Cream (Gelato)
_* Italian Ices
_* Italian Sandwiches (Panini)
_* Lamb Chops
_* Leafy Greens
_* Meat Sauces (Ragù)
_* Mushrooms
_* Onions
_* Peas
_* Peppers
_* Pork Ribs and Chops
_* Pork Sausages
_* Pork Tenderloins and Roasts
_* Potatoes
_* Quail
_* Rabbit
_* Ravioli and Other Stuffed Pasta
_* Rice
_* Rollatini or Involtini
_* Shrimp, Lobster, and Scallops
_* Spoon Desserts
_* Tomatoes
_* Tramezzini
_* Veal Chops
_* Veal Cutlets (Scaloppine)
_* Veal Shanks
_* Zucchini and Winter Squash
__About Cake Flour
__Bread-Making Tips
__Choosing Beef Cuts
__Cleaning Calamari (Squid)
__Cookie-Making Tips
__Eleven Pastas with Uncooked Sauces
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Making Dough with a Food Processor or Heavy-Duty Mixer
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Making Pasta Noodles
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Preparing Dough by Hand
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Rolling Out the Dough By Hand
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Rolling Out the Dough with a Pasta Machine
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Storing Pasta
__Grating Cheese for Pasta
__How To Melt Chocolate
__How To Toast and Skin Nuts
__How to Cook Dried Pasta
__How to Soak Salted and Dried Fish
__Pizza Variations
__Preparing Gnocchi Dumplings
__Preparing Ravioli Pasta
__Risotto Tips
__Ten Quick Crostini
__Ten Toppings for Hot Polenta Crostini
__Ten Ways to Vary Tomato Bruschetta
__Tips For Making Fresh Pasta
__Tips on Making Cakes
__Tips on Making Granitas
__Tips on Making Pastry Dough
__To Drain Ricotta
__Tramezzini Fillings
__When Is Fish "Done"?

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