This is a very special, yet very simple recipe, I got from my brother-in-law Billy Kelley, who spends several months each year in Florence, Italy. He isn’t a cook. He’s an artist who paints in his studio all day and then goes out to eat in some of that city’s best restaurants.
A few years ago he brought me back a small booklet from Trattoria del Carmine which contained several recipes including this one. They filled the parmesan cheese basket with a yellow squash risotto. Here I stuffed it with a plain risotto made with onions and celery. You could also use the lemon flavored risotto recipe for this dish, just follow steps 1-3.
A light plain rice dish would work too. Just be sensitive not to overpower the crisp tangy taste of the parmesan cup. Be creative. Use your imagination. What else could you fill this with?
Parmesan Basket With Risotto or Rice
- Imported parmesan cheese. Parmigiano-Reggiano is best. (Don’t skimp here. I once tried using the cheese they sell in a jar at the supermarket and it didn’t work. The cheese would not melt and it made me wonder if it was cheese at all.)
- Equipment: A nonstick frying pan.
- Step 1 Warm up the nonstick frying pan.
- Step 2 Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of the cheese in a circle in the hot pan.
- Step 3 Let the cheese melt until it becomes an intense yellow color.
- Step 4 Detach the sheet of cheese with a spatula and place it flat over a small cup or 2-3-inch ramekin. Poke it down into the cup or ramekin with your index finger to give it a bowl shape.
- Step 5 Once it cools, remove it from the cup or ramekin. Put it on a plate and fill it with risotto or whatever you decide will work.