Help me use up Romano cheese
February 23, 2021 2:18 PM   Subscribe

I have 5 ounces of Romano cheese that I need recipes for. The more cheese in the recipe, the better. I just threw out another container, because it was expired. The only recipe I have that uses this cheese uses only a little. No eggs, please. And we aren't wild about peas or mushrooms, either.
posted by NotLost to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Salads! IMO, every salad needs cheese, and a lot of it. TBH, I love cheese and am not too particular, every salad I make gets a healthy dose of cheese. And salad is good for you, so you can eat a lot of it :)
posted by jpeacock at 2:25 PM on February 23, 2021

Cook some polenta and mix in the romano near the end. Go easy on the salt at the beginning because the cheese will add a lot. Adjust salt and pepper after the addition of the cheese.

Serve with some meat and veg (I did confit chicken thighs and stamed broccoli) and the flavor of the cheese with the polenta will be a prominent flavor.
posted by Seamus at 2:31 PM on February 23, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: A classic use of Romano is cacio e pepe. Go wild with the cheese! Seriously, that recipe says 2 ounces; try it with 3 but you could probably use 4 oz without problem.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:34 PM on February 23, 2021 [14 favorites]

Risotto. Arborio rice is nicest, short grain is ok, even long grain is alright.
Saute some chopped onion in olive oil, then add a cup or so of rice and saute a little longer. Add some good broth (boxed, better than bouillon) and stir a bit, let simmer, add broth and some white wine, stir, simmer, repeat until rice is just cooked, stir in a bit of wine and a bunch of cheese, stir, give it a couple minutes, serve. A bit or parsley is nice, you could add herbs in the beginning, etc. Foodies say the broth must be warmed, you must stir constantly, they are probably right, but this way still tastes great. I end up using a broth:wine ratio of about 4:1. The wine gives it a nice flavor, but it's probably okay without it.
posted by theora55 at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2021 [7 favorites]

Risotto, polenta, cheese crisps, mix at a roughly 30% cheese to 70% breadcrumb ratio and season for chicken breading, NYT's hasselback-style garlic bread uses an unholy/delicious proportion of cheese to butter and garlic.
posted by rachaelfaith at 2:36 PM on February 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have spaghetti squash filled with cheesy creamed spinach on the menu this week. I would happily use romano for that.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 2:40 PM on February 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Came in to say cacio e pepe.
But since Greg_ace was already there, this is a delicious dish I've been thinking a lot about making next time I am not home alone: Golden Pancakes with Pecorino and Prosciutto.
Another thing I've been looking at is different cheese crisp recipes, because I can't get them at any stores right now and they are my favorite snack. This looks good.
posted by mumimor at 2:48 PM on February 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

I also agree with the risotto. Just one thing: I put in the white wine right at the beginning, and let the alcohol evaporate completely before I add stock/broth, because I don't like the taste of alcohol. And make a lot, because then you can make arancini of the leftovers and they will make you happy! (the linked recipe starts with making risotto from scratch).
posted by mumimor at 2:54 PM on February 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

So, I agree with risotto, and I am going to tell you something I have only just learned. This will be useful if you don't feel like cooking or aren't much of a cook: It's okay to buy the boxed risotto at the store and doctor it up to avoid the stirring and monitoring. By doctor it up, I mean use broth instead of the water the box calls for and sub a half cup of white wine for half a cup of that broth, then grate like a handful or two of your romano and add it near the end. I like the Trader Joe's version just fine (though the only one I've seen is mushroom, so a no-go for you), but the brand I like the best is Lundberg. Whole Foods has it, and so does my local "normal" grocery store, which is Harris Teeter. I get the creamy parmesan flavor.

It is surprisingly good, and truth is, a lot of restaurants will parboil their rice so they can quickly and easily make risotto to order, so it makes sense that a box of parboiled rice isn't too far off from good risotto when I use decent broth and wine and real parmesan.

Man, I was on a huge homemade risotto kick early in 2020, but somewhere along the way I just lost the energy for it and stopped making it, so I am ridiculously happy to have figured this out. I can just stick it on the stove and mostly ignore it until it's done.
posted by hought20 at 3:05 PM on February 23, 2021 [7 favorites]

Also, Romano freezes well, but being on a mission to eat cheese is a worthy cause.
posted by theora55 at 3:13 PM on February 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Add to home made meatball recipes.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:55 PM on February 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you make an Italian style lasagna, with bechamel instead of cheese in the layers, you can put quite a lot of Romano cheese on every bechamel layer, and it will be delicious. This recipe using three ounces of cheese is for a lasagna bolognese, with a meat ragu, but I make it more often with a vegetable sauce instead of the meat, where I use eggplant instead of meat, and it is delicious. I chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes, and otherwise do everything like in the meat recipe, except the cooking time is much shorter.
posted by mumimor at 3:57 PM on February 23, 2021

Best answer: Add it with butter to some popcorn. Maybe a little black pepper, too.
posted by hydra77 at 4:16 PM on February 23, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I make a variation on this Tortellini with Broccoli and Pancetta dish at least once a month, and it will use 1/2 cup of your romano (in place of the requested parmesan on the recipe). I use broccoli rather than rabe, and I add in 2 cups broth and cook the pasta in the pot with everything else. Add a bit of milk for creaminess.

N.B. You can easily freeze the cheese you don't expect to use, and I wouldn't hesitate to use Romano past its expiration, as long as you see no mold. That stuff keeps in the fridge for quite a while.
posted by hydra77 at 4:23 PM on February 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: as long as you see no mold

Which would be dark/fuzzy. Not the grainy white stuff - that's perfectly normal and edible and isn't a sign of cheese needing to be discarded.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:43 PM on February 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

It doesn't use as much cheese as some of the above recipes, but pasta all'Amatriciana is super-easy and uses Romano as a topping.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:49 AM on February 24, 2021

It would be great on virtually any roasted vegetable.
posted by mmascolino at 7:08 AM on February 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This hasselback potato gratin is so delicious! I generally use 5-6 oz of whatever hard cheese I have on hand.
posted by dorey_oh at 10:37 AM on February 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Each of these recipes will use 50% of the cheese that you've got on hand They're from America's Test Kitchen:
Pasta alla gricia
Pasta alla carbonara
posted by dlwr300 at 12:21 PM on February 24, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks! I look forward to trying many of these. I expect to try the best answers first!
posted by NotLost at 6:34 PM on February 24, 2021

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