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I've been trying to cook this recipe recently, but I keep running into a problem with the parmesan cheese. Basically the last step is to mix the cheese into the chicken broth.

When I do this, it just gets all gloppy and I have a hard time stiring it in. I can mitigate it a little by adding the cheese in parts, but eventually it builds up. Additionally, when I go to clean the pot, I find that a bunch of the cheese has ended up stuck to the side of the pot.

Is there a way to cook parmesan cheese so that it melts into the broth, rather than sticking to everything and just making globs?

  • Not entirely sure here but in order to make a liquid out of cheese don't you have to combine it with milk, flour and butter? I would think that making a cheese sauce with Parmesan and then adding it to the soup would be better. But then that would be "cream of Parmesan soup?" – Steve Chambers Sep 24 '19 at 20:40
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That recipe relies on starch exuded by the pasta to thicken the broth enough to emulsify the cheese. If your brand of pasta throws off less starch, the broth won't be thick enough to keep the cheese from globbing up.

I suggest adding some corn starch slurry just before the cheese. Remove a quarter cup or so of the broth, allowing it to cool slightly; add some corn starch (say, 2 tbsp as a starting point? I'll leave that to the group) and mix, then pour the slurry back into the main soup and stir for a minute or so over low heat, then add the cheese.

EDIT: Joe's comment made me realize something else -- you're not using pre-grated Parmesan, are you? You shouldn't use that for cooking. (Or anything, really.)

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    just as a clarification: The broth used in the slurry shouldn't be boiling hot, otherwise the starch will thicken right away, before you have time to dissolve it in the liquid. It's better to reserve some of the broth beforehand and use it cold to make the slurry! – Gretel_f Sep 25 '19 at 7:46
  • @Gretel_f The act of removing a quarter cup of the broth into a different container will cool the liquid below the gelling temperature. If you're worried, though, you can also just use water. – Sneftel Sep 25 '19 at 8:24
  • The answer is basically in the incipit. This link might helps, too: thetakeout.com/recipe-how-to-master-cacio-e-pepe-1828138645 – Alchimista Sep 25 '19 at 8:50
  • @Sneftel: I know, I just wanted to make it extra clear. When my grand dad made milk pudding for the first time, he thought the liquid had to be as hot as possible, because the instructions were not clear enough and even reheated it in the microwave. :P – Gretel_f Sep 25 '19 at 9:26
  • @Gretel_f Good point. – Sneftel Sep 25 '19 at 9:52

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