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I'm looking for some cheese recommendations to serve grated or shredded over pasta. However I'd like to get away from the obvious ones that everybody knows, such as parmesan, mozarella, ricotta, or even feta. What other delicious cheeses are there that go well with pastas?

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there are cheeses that don't go well with pasta? –  Joe Jul 19 '10 at 16:50
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@Joe: Velveeta. –  JSBձոգչ Jul 19 '10 at 17:06
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@JSBangs : I could've sworn I said 'cheese', which means American and Velveeta don't qualify. (although, I will admit, I've have some pretty good mac & cheese that used 'em) –  Joe Jul 19 '10 at 17:21
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@Joe, touché. I agree that Velveeta does not qualify as cheese, but is rather "cheez". –  JSBձոգչ Jul 19 '10 at 17:24
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Don't forget cheese in a can, not really cheese and I'm not going to try putting it on pasta. –  ManiacZX Jul 28 '10 at 9:19

14 Answers 14

try gruyere or gouda

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I like baked pasta dishes with a Gruyere cream sauce. –  Adam Shiemke Jul 19 '10 at 16:14

Pecorino romano is my absolute favorite cheese for pretty much any situation, especially for putting on pasta.

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Asiago is very similar to Parmesan and crumbles well.

Smoked gouda may also prove to give a creamy, buttery flavor to certain pastas.

Or you could try gorgonzola, fontina, romano, or many more.

This site may help you to find more that you'd be interested in: http://www.cheese.com/

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Keep in mind that asiago and romano cheeses are both significantly saltier than parmesan. –  hobodave Jul 19 '10 at 16:18
    
I've used smoked gouda to great effect. It's a nice accent. –  sysadmin1138 Jul 19 '10 at 16:55

try breaking broccoli into very small florets and steaming, then warming a mild blue cheese like dolcelatte with some cream, adding the florets and mixing through the pasta.

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I've just been given some good Spanish Manchego cheese. It's hard enough to be gratable, but stil quite fatty. I haven't made pasta in a while, but I tasted some, and I think it would go well with pasta if the sauce isn't too rich.

Another recommendation, if your pasta has greens in it, like spinach or mangold, would be to use some nice blue cheese like roquefort. Stilton works too, but the flavour is very powerful.

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I've found it works in most places where parmesan would –  Rowland Shaw Jul 19 '10 at 19:19

During my college days, we used to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for cheap eats. Most of the stuff was horrible (cloyingly sweet sauces served over overcooked pasta) but one thing I really enjoyed was the [mizithra][1] cheese and browned butter sauce. It's a Greek goat's milk cheese that has a great tangy flavor when aged a bit. Their menus used to state that Homer (Odyssey not Simpson) ate the stuff. I still crave it!

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at the cheese section of your favorite grocery store:

  • Pick a random hard cheese
  • Freeze it
  • Grate it on top of your pasta

EDIT

What I meant is, that there are a lot of cheeses out there, and the hard ones (Except for blue cheese) really go well grated. So go and get that purple-red hard cheese and try it out.

I personally don't like grated cheese on my pasta

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Where I live (central Texas) our local grocery stores are overrun with "Beemster" Dutch cheeses. They're all basically Gouda-like semi-soft cheeses, though there's an aged one that's hard enough to grate. However, the "garlic" variety is a great addition to a cheese sauce. In fact, that plus Ford Farm "Coastal" cheddar makes a cheese sauce that's almost perfect.

Also, the Irish cheese marketed as "Ivernia" is sort-of like a Parmesan, but quite tasty in its own right.

Soft chevre makes a really nice addition to cheese sauces, or it can be just dropped in chunks on pasta for a more salad-like dish.

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I do like to use fontina in creamy or mushroomy sauces in pasta and also sometimes reblochon (though I normally use this more with potatoes).

But it depends so much upon what else you are putting with the pasta and what you can get hold of, french cheese especially are often not (easily) available much outside their region.

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Gran Padano is worth looking for as an alternative to Parmesan - it's very similar (hard, salty) but, in the UK at least, is about two-thirds of the price :-)

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I've been doing Mizithra lately, as I've been eating less cow-milk based cheeses. With a bit of olive oil, garlic, and scallions, you get nice top notes, full body, and the "pastoral" finish of a solid sheep's cheese.

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Roquefort is great on pasta. Even better, you can make a roquefort sauce by melting it with some cream and black pepper.

Gorgonzola is good as well...

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Can't go wrong with a bit of Raclette...

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Another good cheese to try with pasta is Tallegio, this is a soft cheese so you won't be able to grate it but it goes great with a bit of cream and some broccoli.

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