Homemade Pasta: Cappelletti (“Little Hats”). Now that you have homemade cappelletti (or, perhaps, store-bought stuffed pasta/ravioli when you’re short on time), you need a light and delicate broth in which to bath them.
That’s where the Parmesan rind comes into play. Do you typically discard your Parmesan rinds? Or, are you a Parmesan rind hoarder??
The addition of Parmesan rinds to a stock or broth (or red pasta sauce) elevates it to a new level.
Where does one find Parmesan rinds you might ask?
I’ve made a few friends in the cheese department at my local grocery store. I’m a very good customer. I shop there just about every day and, on some days, multiple times per day (one of the hazards of having a food blog). And, it never hurts to ask. The cheesemongers were nice enough to supply me with a few rinds gratis (they had a huge bucket filled with them).
Or, you could simply save up your rinds over time until you have a nice supply on hand. Parmesan rinds keep for a long time and you can store them in the freezer.
The rinds really kick up a basic vegetable or chicken broth. Once you’ve tasted a broth made with a Parmesan rind, you’ll never discard one again.
Parmesan Brodo (Broth)
Here’s a guide, but you can add whatever vegetable scraps you have on hand (e.g., leeks, fennel, pea pods)
2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
1 large onion, quartered
1 large head of garlic, sliced cross-wise
2 quarts of water
A few large Parmesan rinds (~ 8 ounces)
a few sprigs of thyme
a few sprigs of parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Optional step (sauteing the vegetables first, will result in a deeper flavored broth): Heat the olive oil in a large soup/stock pot. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables have softened and begin to brown.
Add the water, the Parmesan rinds, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for at least an hour, up to 2 hours. Strain the broth.