Pasta Lab is focused on three cheeses: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago and Pecorino Romano. We’ve sourced honest examples of each cheese. The Parmigiano-Reggiano is from the correct region, altitude and mix of evening and morning milk. Seriously. The Asiago is bright. The Pecorino Romano is made from sheep’s milk on the island of Sardinia. Check the labels on grocery store cheese, something called “Romano” is probably made with cow’s milk.
Intense aromas and flavors of fruit, nuts, butter and hay, and its high glutamate content produces a savory, flavor-enhancing quality. Parmigiano-Reggiano’s granular texture flakes easily when broken with the stubby, sharp-pointed “almond knife” traditionally used to break and cut the cheese.
True Parmigiano-Reggiano can only be produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of Bologna and Mantua (the only province not in Emilia-Romagna). It also bears a stamp from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium.
Asiago is white or pale yellow in color with a thin rind, and small, irregular holes throughout. It has a medium texture, like a firm sponge cake, with a delicately sweet and sour flavor and buttery aroma.
Pecorino Romano has a bit of a sharper and saltier taste than Parmesan, making it excellent for grating on pasta, soup, or salad. Its flavor also stands out nicely in a pesto.
This hard cooked cheese is made with whole milk from pasture-grazed sheep, and has a particularly salty and slightly piquant flavor. Aged for at least 5 months, Pecorino Romano makes an excellent table cheese, particularly when combined with fresh vegetables and fruit, but after eight months of aging, it is mainly used for grating over classic Roman dishes.