Whenever I use mozarella in a pasta dish, and attempt to mix it in like you would cheddar or anything else, I end up with one giant clump of mozzarella. Ex) I cook some pasta, and add the cheese/milk right after draining and attempt to mix.

Is there a way to thoroughly mix this hardheaded cheese?

  • 1
    Are we speaking of fresh mozzarella or of the hard stuff that is sold as such? – nico Apr 30 '12 at 14:22
  • I'm just using store-bought shredded, like the latter picture "hard stuff" – JWiley Apr 30 '12 at 14:26
  • OK, because the fresh one does not really melt. – nico Apr 30 '12 at 14:35

You need to add in your cheese in small quantities and stir after each addition.

I'm not sure what you're making, but you could make a cream sauce prior to mixing the pasta with milk/cream, cheese and butter. Again, though, you'll want to add the cheese in small quantities and ensure that it's incorporated before adding another batch.

| improve this answer | |
  • Great, thanks! I'll try that. As far as the cream sauce, how would you advise making that to avoid the same problem? Just put a pinch in, let it melt, and repeat? Or is there a method to the madness? – JWiley Apr 30 '12 at 17:33
  • 1
    Yeah, you'd basically be making something like a Mornay or an Alfredo sauce. Melt the butter, incorporate the milk/cream and, once hot, sprinkle the cheese in smaller than 1/4 cup increments stirring constantly. Once all the cheese is in and melted, you can then incorporate your pasta. – Jacob G Apr 30 '12 at 17:40

Your cheese is clumping like oil and water.

Okay, it is perhaps oversimplifying slightly, but this is the basic issue--your cheese is made of, essentially, fat and protein (assuming you're using low-moisture mozzarella). The fat and water repel each other, meaning breaking up that ball of cheese is like trying to mix oil throughout a pot of water--it's going to tend to clump together.

What you need is an emulsifier, an agent that will act as a liaison between the cheese and the water to turn it into one smooth mixture. When making sauces, your go-to emulsifier is starch. This is actually quite handy because when you're making pasta you have starch in abundance! When you're done boiling your pasta, just take a bit of the water and add it to your cheese and pasta. With a little mechanical action, you'll see it all turn smooth and even before your eyes.

As far as how much to add--well that depends on how much pasta, how much cheese, how starchy your water is, etc. What I often do is drain my pasta over a bowl, add a ladle-full of water back to my cheesy sauce with the pasta, and stir for a few seconds. It will quickly become clear whether it is mixing well or whether I'll need more water.

| improve this answer | |

3 table spoon of butter Melt in sauce pan 3 table spoons of flour Add to melted butter Slowly add 2 and half cups of milk GRADUALLY until mixture is right thickness for u Add your cheese and stir with mixture Hope this alternative method is useful

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.