Have you ever been in a situation where you are stuck deciding what cheese goes best with your pesto pasta dish?
Well, this article will provide all the answers to your perplexity.
The article is an overview on 10 cheeses that really give an extra punch to your pesto pasta.
Read along to find out which flavors and textures will bring out the most in your pesto pasta dish.
Plus, read up on tips and tricks from the experts on how elevated this course can be.
So what are you waiting for? Sink in and get ready for an amazing cheesey-pesto experience.
Why You Should Pair Cheese with Pesto Pasta?
Pesto pasta is undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes out there, with its creamy texture and delicious flavor.
But what many people don’t know is that pairing cheese with pesto pasta can create an unmatched harmony amongst flavors.
Not only does this addition add a burst of flavor, but it also works to bring out the subtle nuances in the pesto itself.
Whether its parmesan, feta or mozzarella, the particular tartness from different kinds of cheeses can help make a tantalizing pesto dish.
Furthermore, cheese has been known to help bind together different flavors that may be present in such a dish due to the fat content it provides – you won’t believe how much more flavorful your easily-made-at-home pesto pasta dish will be with just a bit of cheese.
Criteria for Choosing Cheeses for Pesto Pasta
Choosing the right cheese for pesto pasta can be quite tricky.
There are so many different types of cheeses to choose from and making the wrong choice can ruin your dish.
To make sure you pick the best, there are a few criteria you should consider.
First, you should take into account not only taste but also texture.
Parmigiano Reggiano has a slightly granular texture that helps balance out creaminess in dishes like pesto pasta whereas Romano and Asiago offer sharp, tangy flavors.
Additionally, aged cheeses tend to offer more depth of flavor so always check how long it has been aged for before making your purchase.
Finally, authentic Italian cheeses like ones from Gorgonzola or Pecorino will help make your dish truly unique with bold, complex flavors that will set it apart from anything else.
While choosing cheese for pesto pasta may seem daunting at first, follow these simple tips to ensure you find the perfect one.
10 Cheeses That Go Well with Pesto Pasta
For an easy and delicious meal, pesto pasta is the perfect choice.
Whether you’re grabbing a quick dinner after work or preparing something special for a party, this classic Italian dish is always sure to please.
To make it even better, try adding one or more of these excellent cheeses to your pesto pasta.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can elevate your dish and make it truly unforgettable.
1. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is one of the most commonly used Italian cheeses.
It is a hard cheese that has a sharp, salty flavor and can be grated and used as a topping.
The name Parmigiano-Reggiano is protected in Europe, meaning that only hard cheese produced in certain regions of Italy can be labeled that way.
As such, when selecting Parmesan cheese at the grocery store read the label to ensure it is genuine.
Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over your pasta and pesto dish to enjoy its flavorful crunch.
2. Pecorino Romano Cheese
Typically used for grating, Pecorino Romano cheese is a hard, salty Italian cheese made with sheep’s milk.
If you’re looking for a salty and tangy flavor to add to your pesto pasta, look no further than this brazenly bold cheese.
Pecorino Romano also has a high melting point which makes it an excellent choice for baking in dishes such as lasagna and pizza.
This distinctive Italian cheese is aged for up to 5 years and contains low moisture content for sharp and intense flavor that packs a punch in any dish you put it in.
Pecorino Romano pairs wonderfully with the fragrant aroma of pesto and will lend an incredible depth of flavor to any pasta dish.
3. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a mild, creamy cheese that goes well with pesto pasta.
Ricotta’s texture helps add another layer of creaminess to the pesto dish.
If you want a richer flavor, you can use whole-milk ricotta or try combining it with other cheeses such as Gorgonzola.
When buying ricotta for your pesto dish, it is recommended to look for an organic variety that uses non-homogenized milk and no preservatives.
This will ensure an overall richer taste and help guarantee that you are getting only the best ingredients in your dish.
4. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is not just melted on pizzas; it is a great choice to pair with pesto pasta.
Mozzarella is a mild, soft and slightly salty cheese with a creamy texture that complements the nutty flavor of pesto pasta.
As mozzarella melts quickly when heated, it’s best to add the shredded cheese at the end and stir it in so that it doesn’t become stringy.
You can also add chunks of mozzarella for a more textured dish.
Serve your hot and cheesy pesto pasta with a chilled glass of white wine for an added layer of flavor.
5. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is a fresh white cheese that can typically be found in the deli section alongside varieties like Brie, feta and cream cheese.
It has a stronger flavor than most other cheeses, with a slightly acidic, lemony taste.
Goat cheese intensifies a rich pesto sauce, while also providing an enjoyable texture.
Consider adding a crumbled or cubed variety of goat cheese to your pesto pasta for a unique and delicious twist on the traditional favorite.
6. Gorgonzola Cheese
Gorgonzola cheese, an Italian blue cheese with a creamy, crumbly texture, is particularly well suited for pesto pasta dishes.
This cheese has a sharp flavor that pairs nicely with the herbs and oils found in pesto sauces.
You can crumble the cheese into small pieces and top your pasta dish or add larger chunks for a more pronounced flavor.
Try using Gorgonzola when you’re making homemade pesto pasta for a rich and savory meal.
7. Asiago Cheese
Asiago cheese is a hard, aged cheese made from cow’s milk.
It has a complex flavor and its texture runs from crumbly to firm, depending on the age of the cheese.
Asiago cheese is often grated over pasta dishes and makes an excellent topping for pesto pasta due to its creamy and pungent flavor.
It also pairs nicely with olive oil or a pesto-based sauce.
The longer it is aged, the sharper it will become, so choose one that suits your taste preference – young asiago has a more mild flavor, while extra-aged versions are very sharp.
8. Feta Cheese
Feta cheese boasts a salty and sharp flavor with a creamy texture, making it the perfect accompaniment to pesto pasta.
This cheese pairs well with both the nutty flavor of pine nuts in the pesto and acidic tomatoes in the pasta.
Furthermore, feta is low-fat yet full-flavor, which is why it’s so popular for just about any dish as a topping or an ingredient.
When complementing pesto pasta dishes, feta can either be crumbled onto the top of your dish or melted into the sauce for a unique twist on this old classic recipe.
9. Burrata Cheese
Burrata cheese is an Italian fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream.
The outside of the cheese looks like mozzarella, but when cut open, it reveals a softer, creamy center.
It has a mild, buttery flavor that would pair nicely with the flavors in pesto pasta.
Additionally, when melted on top of the pasta dish or paired with thinly sliced tomatoes, it can create a creamy and rich flavor that is both savory and delicious.
10. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese adds a hint of gentle sweetness to any recipe.
Its mild flavor pairs especially well with pesto pasta, working in harmony with the richness of the sauce and helping to maintain an overall lightness.
Simply add a few small chunks as you cook the noodles and let the warmth of meal melt it into a creamy addition to your dinner.
The same combination works beautifully in an oven-baked pasta dish, or as an alternative to ricotta cheese in a pesto lasagna.
You can also use it as the base for a classic traditional Italian dish featuring grilled chicken and mushrooms, served on top of cream cheese-laced gnocchi that has been tossed together with pesto sauce.
Pesto pasta is a delightful Italian dish that can take on many forms.
To make it truly special, it is important to use the right cheese to enhance the flavors of the pesto and bring out the best in this delicious meal.
We have listed 10 cheeses that work really well with pesto pasta and will give your dish a special kick.
Whether you want a mild, nutty flavor or something bolder with more depth, there is sure to be an Italian cheese that will elevate your dish with its distinctive taste and aroma.
With these suggestions in mind, you can experiment with different cheeses until you find exactly what you like best.
Enjoy your next pesto pasta experience with any of these ten delicious cheeses and make sure it’s a memorable one.