Next time you think you've grated all the cheese you can from a wedge of Parmigiano, don't discard the rind.
The rinds are excellent when you want to add extra flavor and richness to stews and soups, and many slow-simmered dishes. Just take a rind out of the freezer and steep it in the pot with whatever you're cooking. It'll add just a little more love to the dish.
Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you've been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it's a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, ranging from how to hold a chef's knife for maximum control to using a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.
SPRING VEGETABLES IN PARMESAN BROTH WITH GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI
Total time: 2 hours | Serves 6
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 ounces rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 dozen asparagus tips
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
Goat cheese ravioli (recipe below)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. In a soup pot, simmer the chicken broth, water, garlic, Parmesan rinds and herb trimmings until aromatic and flavorful, about 90 minutes. Strain and return to the soup pot.
2. In a wide pot, blanch the asparagus tips in plenty of rapidly boiling, generously salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Use a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Cut the sugar snaps in half on a bias, then blanch them in the same way, stopping the cooking with the ice water bath and holding in a separate bowl. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)
4. When ready to serve, warm 6 shallow pasta bowls. Bring the Parmesan broth to a simmer, taste and correct seasoning with salt to taste.
5. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil. Cook the goat cheese ravioli or fresh pasta squares until the pasta is tender, 3 or 4 minutes. Divide the ravioli among the serving bowls. Warm the asparagus tips in the same pot of water and divide them among the pasta bowls. Warm the sugar snaps in the same pot of water and divide them among the pasta bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with chives and then ladle over roughly one-third cup of hot Parmesan broth. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pass the remainder at the table.
Each serving, without ravioli: calories 41; protein 2 grams; carbohydrates 4 grams; fiber 1 gram; fat 2 grams; saturated fat 1 gram; cholesterol 4 mg; sugar 2 grams; sodium 319 mg.
GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI
Total time: 50 minutes, plus relaxing time for the dough | Serves 6
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, plus more if needed
12 ounces fresh goat cheese
5 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons minced chives
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt to taste
1 beaten egg white
1. In a food processor, mix the flour and 2 eggs until it just comes together to form a rough dough. If that doesn't happen, add a little more beaten egg, a teaspoon or so at a time. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to relax the gluten.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the fresh goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolk, chives and parsley. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
3. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remainder covered in plastic. Flatten the dough with your hand and then pass it through the widest setting of a pasta machine, folding the dough into thirds after the first time, and repeating until you make a thick sheet approximately 5 inches wide. Continue putting the dough through each setting, finishing with the second-to-thinnest setting; the sheet should be 6 1/2 to 7 inches wide. Lightly dust the machine or dough with flour if it sticks. The pasta will be very thin and almost translucent. Lay the pasta sheet on a floured surface.
4. To fill the pasta, place a small (2-teaspoon) mound of filling at 3-inch intervals, 1 inch from the edge, along the length of the pasta. Use a pastry brush or your finger to paint lightly around each mound with beaten egg white.
5. Fold the pasta over the filling lengthwise, making sure there's at least one-half inch from the edge of the fold to the beginning of the filling. Press down along the back edge with the side of your thumb to seal. Press between each mound of filling to seal the sides, then press along the front to make the final seal.
6. With a ravioli cutter, cut around the pasta to form a decorative edge, then cut between the filling, always front to back, to form the ravioli. Place the pasta on a baking sheet lined with a cotton dish towel sprinkled with flour. Repeat with the remaining pasta. If you make these early in the day, turn them over from time to time so they dry evenly.
Each serving: calories 318; protein 17 grams; carbohydrates 25 grams; fiber 1 gram; fat 16 grams; saturated fat 10 grams; cholesterol 122 mg; sugar 1 gram; sodium 271 mg.