Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

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Cooking Tip of the Week (September 28, 2015)

Posted by William Abruzzo on September 28, 2015 at 6:45 PM


Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Rinds Add Great Flavor to Soups


       The next time you buy a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, be sure to save the waxy rind!  The rinds are loaded with wonderful flavor that adds complexity and character to any type of soup.  Simply toss the rinds into your soup and let it simmer as usual.  Then, when the soup is done, fish out and discard the rinds.  I store the rinds in a ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer.  They will keep for many, many months.  Then when I need a few, I have them on hand. For a large pot of soup, 2  three by three inch square rinds are sufficient to impart great flavor.  It is a simple trick and a great way to maximize your use of expensive Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!



Categories: Cooking Tips

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1 Comment

Reply maribella
7:00 PM on October 13, 2015 
Hi Bill, this is a great tip. Made Chicken Soup with little meatballs and orzo pasta in it. I put the leftover rind in it and it did give the soup more flavor. Simply delicious. Thanks and keep the tips coming!

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I offer private cooking classes for up to six people. Cooking classes are held in my home, or if suitable, yours. I specialize in all aspects of Italian regional cuisine, including soups, vegetables, pasta, risotto, meat, seafood and desserts. I will design a cooking class around whatever interests you –whether it is a specific recipe you wish to learn or a skill such as pasta-making. For more details, please go to the "Catering/Cooking Classes" page or take a minute to become a member of my website and contact me via internal email at . 

Bill's Cooking Tip of the Month

Roll Out Pie Dough with Ease Using Plastic Wrap

This is an old trick I learned years ago from my mother. The next time you bake a pie, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin and will make it easier to transport the dough from your work surface to the pie dish or baking sheet.

Cover your entire work surface with plastic wrap and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Turn the dough onto the wrap, pat it down to 1 inch thickness, sprinkle it lightly with flour, and then cover it with a second layer of wrap. Roll out the dough to just less than ¼ inch thickness and remove the top layer of wrap. Lift the dough using the bottom layer of wrap, turn it on to a lightly greased pie dish or baking sheet, and then remove the wrap. Its quick and easy! 

Tips on Italian Ingredients

 Frying Tomato Paste Enhances the Flavor and Adds Depth to Your Dish

Many recipes direct you to stir tomato paste into a sauce, soup or stew. However, frying the tomato paste first fully develops its flavor and eliminates any raw or metallic taste. It is a quick and easy way to enhance the flavor of your dish. Tomato paste should always be added at the beginning of a recipe, rather than at the end. This allows its flavor to marry with the dish. Add it immediately after sautéing your aromatics in olive oil or rendered fat. When the aromatics are soft, push them to one side of your pot or frying pan. Place a dollop of tomato paste on the other side, tilt the pot or frying pan to pool the oil around the tomato paste, and let it gently sizzle for about 2 minutes.  After the tomato paste has fried, incorporate it into the aromatics and then add the liquid and other ingredients to complete your sauce, soup or stew. 

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My Italian Heritage

 My Great Grandparents, Vita and Onofrio Abruzzo, from the town of Santa Margherita di Belice, Sicily pictured here with my grandfather Vito "Bill" in the center.

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