What is Parmigiano-Reggiano?
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Parmigiano-Reggiano, produced only in Parma and the surrounding protected (DOP) region (Bologna, Mantua, Modena), is a hard, sharp, grass-fed cows’ milk cheese considered by many to be among the finest cheeses in the world. Primarily used in grated form, when fully aged (2-3 years). It is also a delightful table cheese when still somewhat young with a complex umami flavor — nutty, salty, with a slightly gritty texture (in aged cheeses) due to the presence calcium lactate crystals.
All other so called “Parmesan” cheeses pale by comparison.
Other Italian grating cheeses include Pecorino Romano, Grana Padana, Aged Asiago.
Parmigiano-Reggiano will make this Tortellini with Three P’s recipe exceptional.
Click for the recipe for Pesto Genovese.
1 lb Tortellini
6 oz heavy cream
3 oz (or more) Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
generous pinch nutmeg
white pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tbs prosciutto, cut in matchsticks
parsley, finely chopped, and lemon slices for garnish
Blanch the tortellini in plenty of salted boiling water until just cooked.
Rinse briefly with cold water and hold to stop the cooking process
Heat the heavy cream to a boil and slowly add the cheese. Allow it to thicken slightly and add the nutmeg and pepper. Add the peas and prosciutto and cook a few more minutes keeping an eye on just how thick the sauce is getting. Add the tortellini and heat through.
Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with parsley, and a notched lemon slice.