Pecorino romano overload
June 4, 2010 7:37 AM   Subscribe

What do you use pecorino romano for?

I bought a big chunk because I had it in my mind that it was a substitute for Parmagiano-Reggiano and it was about half the price per pound. It turns out it's not really that similar at all though, and I really notice the distinctive taste when I use it in place of the Parmagiano. So what do I do with it?
posted by smackfu to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sprinkle it on a salad.
posted by hermitosis at 7:40 AM on June 4, 2010

Something here should give you some ideas.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:45 AM on June 4, 2010

Mix with ricotta and whatever else you would use for stuffed pasta (ravioli/shells/manicotti/etc.) or lasagna filling; use along with other cheeses on top of pizza.
posted by TedW at 7:45 AM on June 4, 2010

A mix of the two can be pleasant in place of either, or maybe it's just time to pick up some prosciutto for some high class macaroni and cheese.
posted by kcm at 7:45 AM on June 4, 2010

I enjoy it everywhere I would put Parm, and I like the different flavor. Since I'm on a tight budget, Pecorino is generally what I use to feel luxurious, cheese wise.

So for me, that's :

on top of pasta with red sauce
shaved over beans
with pasta, cream, and peas when I've got money for cream

I am also known to slice pecorino romano right off the block and eat it in slivers. I love the salty, slight crunchiness.
posted by bilabial at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2010

Put it in pesto!
posted by cirripede at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is really my parent's cheese of choice (they usually get the Locatelli brand); they buy blocks of it grate it as needed (we grate it in thick strips, not powdery), and sprinkle it over pasta constantly. It's definitely distinct from parmigiano, but I've always loved (and indeed preferred) it.

If it's grating on your nerves to have it over pasta (har har), try sprinkling it over asparagus and broiling them. A simple dish, but one of my favorites, and they maybe you can avoid the "But this should be parmigiano!" feeling.
posted by divisjm at 7:52 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, pesto!
posted by pullayup at 8:02 AM on June 4, 2010

This raw kale salad with pecorino is great and I've made it many times. I usually omit the bread and use regular curly kale -- it's good either way.
posted by kitty teeth at 8:04 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

eat a slice, then eat a slice of apple. Repeat.

Except apples suck at this time of year.
posted by gaspode at 8:04 AM on June 4, 2010

It is also my father's cheese of choice right down to preferring Locatelli as well. He would tell you that he likes it on everything (and prefers it to the nice Parmigiano Reggiano that I like). Since it has a less nutty flavor and seems saltier, Pecorino would be good anywhere you want to throughly salt your food. Popcorn would be a good example. You certainly can't go wrong mixing it with other cheese or grated on top of a sauce. Or do what bilabial does and eat it straight.
posted by mmascolino at 8:07 AM on June 4, 2010

Italians eat it with honey and nuts.
posted by xammerboy at 8:26 AM on June 4, 2010

My family eats romano instead of parm regularly. We like it on pastas (it's great when it's shredded and mixed with mozzarella) and salads, mostly, although once in a while I'll sprinkle it on top of garlic bread before it's baked. I also use it in souffle, and to add a depth of flavor in mac and cheese, and savory scones and biscuits.
posted by shamash at 8:36 AM on June 4, 2010

Cacio e pepe, without a doubt!
posted by zoetrope at 8:38 AM on June 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

Melt it with pear on bread. Yum!
posted by pised at 9:01 AM on June 4, 2010

Basides being my namesake I like it in a la vodka sauce . It also can be used in anything that other grated cheeses are used in. Its also great all by itself with wine.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:09 AM on June 4, 2010

Seconding - nay, n-thing - with pears and on cacio e pepe. And (speaking as an honorary Roman, living just down the road from Amatrice) it's obligatory on pasta all'amatriciana, half-and-half with parmigiano (or cheaper but just as good: half-and-half with grana padano). But beware the salt content: my doctor tells me with my blood pressure I need to stay away from it.

Al contadino non far sapere
Quanto รจ buono pecorino con le pere

Don't let the farmer know just how good pecorino and pears are (otherwise he'll eat the lot).
posted by aqsakal at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like it in soup - for example, minestrone or any other broth-with-beans type.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:28 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cheese crisp type things! Grate up a bunch of it on the small holes of a box grater. Toss with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, take about a third cup of the mixture and shape it into a loosely packed, flat disc. Bake in the oven (I don't know, 300F-ish?) until its lightly browned and crisp. Serve on top of a salad or soup of some kind.
posted by jroybal at 9:34 AM on June 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

It probably has to do with my family's point of origin, but we use pecorino romano like other people use parmigiano.

Eat it plain with some dry white wine.
Eat with apples or pears.
Grate it over anything.
Use it in ricotta fillings for flavor (avoid salt when using thus).
posted by Seamus at 9:35 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cacio e pepe is so much better than the sum of its parts. Definitely try that!
posted by booknerd at 9:39 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another vote for cacio e pepe, and another for pesto. I just made some pesto last night with a mix of pecorino romano and parmigiano reggiano and it was great.
posted by sbrollins at 11:16 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make abeetz.
posted by Opposite George at 1:44 PM on June 4, 2010

On french fries. Make your own fries, and instead of salting toss them with the pecorino. That's how we did them at the stupidly high-end restaurant I used to work at, and people gobbled them down like they were going out of style.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:44 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cheese crisp type things!

I made these. Don't try to eat them straight or you might die of a salt overdose.
posted by smackfu at 12:23 PM on June 7, 2010

A thin slice - almost a shaving, but a bit thicker - on half a pear, drizzled with honey.
posted by sagwalla at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2010

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