The logistics of parmesan on bolognaise.
July 27, 2014 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I have made a lovely bolognaise. I think it would be even lovelier with parmesan. If I buy some parmesan I won't use up the whole wedge. Is there anything interesting I could use the leftover parmesan for? Or alternatively, something other than parmesan that is dynamite on a bolognaise sauce.

When I was cooking the sauce, I cheated and stirred some mature cheddar into it instead of parmesan. Which worked well enough, but really made me fancy the real thing.
posted by Lorc to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
In my experience, parmasean will keep for several weeks wrapped in plastic in the fridge, so at the very least you could use it in another bolognaise when the mood strikes you again.
posted by Aleyn at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can wrap the remaining cheese in wax paper, then in plastic wrap (or a ziploc) and it'll keep for months. Then you can add it to salads, pasta, eggs, and all sorts of things!
posted by jaguar at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Use the leftover Parmesan for your bolognaise next week, and the week after. A wedge of solid Parmesan stays good for a long time.

Also good grated into soup, grated and mixed with the coating for over-fried chicken, grated on top of salads, grated onto toast while it is still hot, grated onto your eggs as you scramble them....there's not much that isn't good with Parmesan.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Parmesan keeps beautifully, so you don't need to worry about it spoiling if you don't use it right away. It's so versatile! Salads, pasta, potatoes. Parmesan crisps. Or just cut off little hunks and nibble on the nutty, salty goodness.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:42 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

We keep Parmesan in the fridge for months, FWIW. It's not even wrapped up.
posted by vacapinta at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Risotto requires a fair bit of parmesan. Let rice soften in broth and wine, add lots of butter and parmesan.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

I keep it in the freezer inside a couple of ziplock bags. It lasts a long time and it's easy to grate.
posted by mareli at 1:46 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Proper parm will live for ages in your fridge and is tasty on just about everything.
posted by elizardbits at 1:47 PM on July 27, 2014

I didn't know parmesan was capable of going bad.
posted by MadamM at 1:58 PM on July 27, 2014 [16 favorites]

If it's parmigiano, the rind adds a lovely flavor to soups like a minestrone or anything else.

And echoing what others said, it's already old when you get it and if you treat it right it's good nearly forever. Just don't coop it up too much.
posted by ftm at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oven roasted asparagus. Or cauliflower. Or probably lots of other veggies. Just roast some and sprinkle on some parmesan.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:00 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Real Parmesan really does keep for a long, long time. Cheap stuff with a higher water content may mold. But you only buy the real stuff, right? Right?

Once you've used all the cheese, put the rind in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Add it to a hearty soup during the long simmer, and discard it before serving.
posted by pheide at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh my gosh alfredo.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. If you know how to brown butter, let it get a bit brown. Or add some minced garlic. Before anything gets too brown, pour in 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Stir constantly, and let the cream reduce by about 15%-25%. Gradually add in 1.5 cups of your very finely grated parmesan (microplaned or similar is best), making sure each addition is incorporated before you add more. When all the cheese is melted in, you have enough delicious sauce to coat pasta for four people. Or two very hungry people.
posted by Night_owl at 2:16 PM on July 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

How do you all manage to not eat parmesan for months? It is delicious. Get some parmesan and put it on whatever food you normally eat. I have never regretted putting parmesan on food.
posted by steinwald at 2:16 PM on July 27, 2014 [9 favorites]

When I visit my parents, who almost always have a block of Parmesan in the fridge, I have a habit of slicing off a sliver to eat all by itself. If you do that often enough, it will eventually disappear.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:42 PM on July 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

Parmesan goes in all the things. Chunks in soup. Popcorn topping. Spaghetti yes. Asparagus yum. Cut a tomato in half and add basil and Parmesan, boom. Basil, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts in the blender, woo you got pesto.
posted by heatherann at 2:43 PM on July 27, 2014

Yes to all of the above. Don't let plastic wrap touch any cheese if possible.

One of the easiest things to do besides eating it directly or grated on something is to grate it and make little piles in a non-stick skillet. Don't walk away. In a few moments it will melt into a delicious crispy parm crisp/cracker.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:58 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grate it onto an omelette, right after the eggs go into the pan! Then add more parm. No, more than that.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:02 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

If your Parmiggiano isn't already too dry on purchase (Marcella Hazan had a thing or two to say about that topic…and right she was.), there's your ideal partner for a glass of wine (or two). Parmesan never gets old in my kitchen...
posted by Namlit at 3:20 PM on July 27, 2014

Also, save the hard rind in a freezer bag, after you've eaten the rest of it, and add it to the broth when making soup.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 4:17 PM on July 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

Make a good simple Cabonara. Add in a ton more Parmesan than most recipes suggest, trust me if it's great with half a cup grated Parmesan it is so much better with a whole cup or more.

Or as already suggested it is really nice to snack on slivers of it, crackers optional. It's delicious to eat slivers with slices of a super fresh apple.
posted by wwax at 4:32 PM on July 27, 2014

Make a foccacia, brush with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and then throw on some rosemary, parmesan, and crushed red pepper and bake.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:58 PM on July 27, 2014

It keeps beautifully and adds a kick to any tomato dish, or used to pepper up a basic herb omelette. Shaves of it on watermelon is very good.
posted by The Whelk at 4:59 PM on July 27, 2014

Oh, and as a quick addition to grilled or pressed sandwiches.
posted by The Whelk at 5:00 PM on July 27, 2014

Oh! Take some cut cauliflower, toss it with olive oil, herbs, and paprika ( or red pepper flakes), roast it in a hot oven til it's just about brown, then shave on some parmesan and turn on the broiler and put it under for like three minutes. Perfect spicy cheesey vegetable side dish.
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grab a bunch of basil, garlic and pine nuts and make pesto! Mmmmm, pesto...
posted by Jubey at 6:48 PM on July 27, 2014

The place I work makes a delicious spinach salad with red onions, orange supreme and shaved parmesan cheese. Delicious, and very pretty.
posted by zorseshoes at 7:08 PM on July 27, 2014

An alternative to parmesan over pasta is fried bread-crumbs. Take good quality crumbs, fry until golden in a little butter. If you like, add in plenty of minced parsley, garlic and black pepper. It's not a straight replacement for parmesan, but it's nice if you want something a bit different. Probably better with a not-too-saucy pasta, but it'll work.
posted by ninazer0 at 10:46 PM on July 27, 2014

Yes to all the above. And when you finish the block (which, again, will NOT last these months you think it will), do this with the rinds. This was the most delicious soup I have ever made.

And to recap what others have hinted towards, here is a list of savoury foods that are definitely not enhanced by adding parmesan:

posted by greenish at 8:02 AM on July 28, 2014

I wouldn't worry about it. Parmesan has typically been aged for a long time, and can keep for years if properly wrapped and refrigerated. I've got a wedge I've been working on for almost a year at this point.
posted by tckma at 8:45 AM on July 28, 2014

Parm lasts essentially forever. Don't wrap it in anything airtight; it needs to breathe. I just leave mine sitting on a shelf in the fridge and grate as needed.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:17 AM on July 28, 2014

Best answer: Make some pasta and toss with butter and a *lot* of grated Parmesan until it all melts, then serve. Simpler and better than traditional Mac and cheese (which I also like).
posted by sesquipedalian at 11:59 AM on July 28, 2014

Best answer: Grate it onto a fish pie, or a pizza. Use it in cheese scones instead of (or as well as - I don't think it's possible to put too much cheese in a cheese scone) good strong cheddar.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:38 PM on July 28, 2014

OP, this question is too easy. Next time please ask us about leftover Gruyere or Stilton!
posted by Omnomnom at 12:56 PM on July 28, 2014

Oh, yeah: pasta Carbonara calls for tons of parm.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:05 PM on July 28, 2014

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