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Pecorino recipes

Pecorino recipes

Pecorino

Of the six main varieties of pecorino, all of which have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status under European Union law, pecorino romano is probably the best known outside Italy, especially in the United States, which has been an important export market for the cheese since the 19th century. A variant from Southern Italy is pecorino pepato (literally, "peppered Pecorino"), to which black peppercorns are added. Today many other additions are made, for example walnuts, rocket, or tiny pieces of white or black truffle.

Meals may be finished with a good pecorino stagionato, served with pears and walnuts or drizzled with strong chestnut honey. Pecorino is also often used to finish pasta dishes, and used to be the natural choice for most Italian regions from Umbria down to Sicily, rather than the more expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is still preferred today for the pasta dishes of Rome and Lazio, for example pasta dressed with sugo all'amatriciana, cacio e pepe, and pasta alla Gricia.

Pecorino Romano is often used on pasta dishes, like the better-known Parmigiano Reggiano. Its distinctive aromatic and pleasantly sharp, very salty flavour led to it being preferred for some Italian pasta dishes with highly flavoured sauces, especially those of Roman origin, such as bucatini all'amatriciana, spaghetti alla carbonara, and spaghetti cacio e pepe (of which it is a main ingredient). The sharpness depends on the period of maturation, which varies from five months for a table cheese to eight months or longer for a grating cheese. Most pecorino cheeses are classified as grana and are granular, hard and sharply flavored. La grande svolta del caseificio la si ha poco più tardi, in conseguenza di due fatti esterni alle cose sarde ma destinati a segnare profondamente la zootecnia ed il caseificio sardo. Nel 1884, il Sindaco di Roma vieta ai "Pizzicaroli'" di salare il formaggio pecorino il "Romano" appunto, nei loro retrobottega. La cosa non fu da poco; i "Pizzicaroli" per un verso organizzano alla periferia della città le prime cantine di salagione, accanto alle qualisorgono poi i primi centri di caseificazione, ma per un altro verso resistono in giudizio contro l'ordinanza del Comune di Roma perdendo però la causa. Il formaggio Pecorino Romano in quegli anni conosce una grande espansione dei consumi, al punto che il latte delle greggi laziali non è in grado di soddisfarla. I "Pizzicaroli" sbarcano nell'isola per organizzare la produzione di quel Pecorino Romano che non riescono più a produrre in proprio. In questo e non in altro sta la spiegazione del fatto che il formaggio maggiormente prodotto in Sardegna si chiami Formaggio Pecorino Romano.

CHEESE

For many people who see their favorite chef grating salty slivers of it over a plate of perfectly cooked pasta or a New Haven-style pizza, pecorino cheese has become almost interchangeable with Parmesan. There is so much more to this beautiful, traditionally crafted cheese than just being an alternative garnish, however, and I hope that after reading this, you will not only realize just how much hard work goes into getting pecorino to your table, but you will also be tempted to make it a star ingredient in some of your future culinary endeavors.

Pecorino Romano is one of the earliest recorded cheeses. Roman soldiers were given rations of it on voyages and details of its production were expounded upon by Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates 2,000 years ago. Central and Southern Italy’s answer to Parmigiano and Grana Padano, this tangy grating cheese lends itself to robust, savory dishes. Though Pecorino Romano was traditionally produced in the Lazio region surrounding Rome, its high demand called for an expansion of its production to regions with similar terroir and breeds of sheep, including Tuscany and Sardinia. It is produced seasonally between November and June and lamb rennet is traditionally used as the milk coagulant. The wheels are dry-salted by hand during the 8-12 month aging process and its firm, granular texture is a result of bringing the curds to a high temperature during production. Pecorino Romano's distinctly sharp, zesty flavor profile is owed to the lamb lipase enzyme present in the rennet, which breaks milk-fats down into free fatty acids that then bind to form robust aroma and flavor compounds.Pecorino Romano is one of the earliest recorded cheeses. Roman soldiers were given rations of it on voyages and details of its production were expounded upon by Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates 2,000 years ago. Central and Southern Italy’s answer to Parmigiano and Grana Padano, this tangy grating cheese lends itself to robust, savory dishes. Though Pecorino Romano was traditionally produced in the Lazio region surrounding Rome, its high demand called for an expansion of its production to regions with similar terroir and breeds of sheep, including Tuscany and Sardinia. It is produced seasonally between November and June and lamb rennet is traditionally used as the milk coagulant. The wheels are dry-salted by hand during the 8-12 month aging process and its firm, granular texture is a result of bringing the curds to a high temperature during production. Pecorino Romano's distinctly sharp, zesty flavor profile is owed to the lamb lipase enzyme present in the rennet, which breaks milk-fats down into free fatty acids that then bind to form robust aroma and flavor compounds.

 

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