The Best Way to Grate Cheese for Pasta
Nobody can dispute the fact that cheese has always been the ultimate garnish. You can enjoy it in different forms and recipes. While some people choose to enjoy their cheese as a pizza topping, others will want it served with hot pasta to spicy up things.
We shall leave the first group of people alone and focus on the second one. If you are going to serve your cheese with pasta, you will need it in small and smooth crystals. That means grating is inevitable.
Though grating cheese is a relatively simple task, there are so many ways to do it. Here is the best way to grate cheese for pasta.
Method 1: Using the Microplane
A Microplane cheese grater is perhaps the easiest way to grate cheese for your pasta. A Microplane grater has a handle attached to a slightly long, flat grate with smaller, sharp teeth. Although the grater is mostly used for zesting lemons, it can still be used to grate cheese for pasta.
Since Microplanes produce relatively smaller pieces of grated cheese, it is best used with hard cheese such as Pecorino or Parmesan. Using this method to grate a soft cheese block such as Mozzarella may not produce great results. Typically, it will give you a mushy mass instead of cleanly grated cheese.
Step 1: Unwrapping the Cheese and Reducing It to Manageable Sizes
To grate your cheese, the first thing you need to do is unwrap the block. If it is too big to hold with one hand, slice it into smaller, manageable pieces. You should be more biased to the larger side than the smaller side because there is a significant chance of hurting yourself with a bigger piece of cheese than a smaller one.
Step 2: Grating
Carefully hold the Microplane over a board or plate and gently move your cheese against the grate up and down. Repeat the movements until you have the desired amount of grated cheese. This process should take you only a few minutes to complete.
Step 3: Releasing the Excess Trimmings
While grating your cheese, some of it will get trapped in the Microplane openings. Once you have achieved the desired amount of cheese on your board or plate, make sure you gently tap the metal end of the Microplane against the edge of the plate or board to release the trapped trimmings.
Feel free to use a pastry brush if needed to get rid of all the cheese trimmings from your Microplane before you complete the process.
You Can Always Switch Your Microplane to Achieve the Desired Size
The good thing about Microplane graters is that they come in a wide range of sizes ranging from fine to coarse. Finely shredded cheese is mostly used as the top layer of pizza. Medium shredded cheese is slightly thicker and serves as a nice topping for salads and baked potatoes. Lastly, coarsely shredded cheese is the thickest and is mostly used to garnish pasta. Therefore, make sure you go for what suits your preference.