We always have a big wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano in our fridge. It’s incredibly versatile, whether using it in mid-week meals such as this Parmigiano Reggiano Asparagus Tart, or as part of a grazing board. As such, we get through a lot of it! And in a bid to reduce food waste, we wanted to share a simple recipe for Parmigiano Reggiano broth, which uses up the rinds to create the perfect base for soup, risotto, or in this case, shop-bought stuffed pasta.
It’s well worth looking out for the official dotted Parmigiano Reggiano rind, as it is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, and the only cheese that can legally be considered ‘parmesan’ in the UK and EU. It’s made with just three ingredients: milk, salt and rennet, and is naturally lactose-free with no additives or preservatives. The minimum maturation period of Parmigiano Reggiano is 12 months, but I have used 24-month-old Parmigiano Reggiano, which is commonly available in most UK supermarkets. At 24 months, the cheese displays notes of fresh fruit, nuts, and meat stock – making it perfect for this stock.
Parmigiano Reggiano Broth with Tortellini
The quantities we’ve used below are intentionally fluid – the whole purpose of this recipe is to use up odds and ends, depending on what you find in your kitchen. The more Parmigiano Reggiano rinds you’ve saved up, the richer your broth will be, and the vegetables can be substituted depending on what’s in season.
Parmigiano Reggiano rinds (the more, the better!).
2 onions or leeks, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
Dry white wine
8 cups cold water
1 bouquet garni (you can make your own by tying up a small bundle of herb stalks such as parsley, sage, rosemary, whole peppercorns, smashed whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, etc.), or buy pre-made like this one.
Roughly chop your onions, leeks, garlic, carrots and celery and slowly start to sautee with a good glug of olive oil.
De-glaze your pan with a dash of white wine, scraping any caramelised veg as you go.
Add the bouquet garni and Parmigiano Reggiano rinds, season well and add water to cover.
Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook over a low heat for at least an hour (or up to three, depending on how long you have), until you are left with a rich, fragrant broth.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and put it to one side. At this point, you could freeze for later and use it as the base for a tasty soup such as pasta e fagioli or risotto.
However, we like to use it to spruce up shop-bought stuffed pasta (of course you could make your own if you wanted!).
Cook your chosen stuffed pasta (we like agnolotti or tortellini) in boiling water until they float to the top. Add to a shallow pasta bowl and pour over the gently re-heated broth.
Finish with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano and a twist of cracked black pepper, and serve immediately.
For more information head to: parmigianoreggiano.com