Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Can you improve on a good thing? In the case of true Parmigiano-Reggiano it would be difficult but you can think of new ways to use the king of Italian cheeses in cooking. I like to make these cannoli shells using grated Parmigiano that is melted in a skillet and then wrapped around a wooden form.
Once cool, let your imagination run wild as to the filling. I like a spuma of mortadella. A variation of this theme is to drape the melted cheese over a small custard cup or simply leave them flat.
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat a non-stick 10-inch sauté pan over medium low heat. Spread about 3 tablespoons of cheese in the center of the pan, making a 4-inch circle. Allow the cheese to melt, bubble and begin to brown.
Use a small spatula to help lift one end of the cheese and carefully wrap it around an 8-inch wooden cannoli form or dowel rod that is ½-inch wide. Transfer the rod to a cooling rack. When slightly warm, slip the cheese cannoli off the form.
These can be filled with minced ham salad, chicken salad, or whatever comes to mind.
Note: It would be difficult to use metal cannoli forms because they would be too hot to handle while wrapping the cheese around the form. If you don’t have wooden cannoli forms or a dowel, use a wooden spoon or other utensil that has a ½-inch thick handle.