All too often we associate pasta in bianco with having a dodgy stomach or recovering from illness, which is an injustice to this “white” pasta delight, dressed simply with quality olive oil or butter and a smattering of Parmesan or Grana Padano. At Lungarno Collection’s 10_11 restaurant in Milan and sister eatery Caffè dell’Oro in Florence, there’s a pasta in bianco dish ticking away like an umami bomb in a concentration of 36-month Parmigiano Reggiano PDO goodness.
1 kg 36-month Parmigiano Reggiano DOP crusts
2 litres water
360 g fusilloni no.19 all’albume di Pietro Massi (or the finest fusilloni you can find)
Grate all of the Parmesan crusts (preferably with a food processor).
Bring 2 litres of water to the boil and set aside. Add the grated Parmesan crusts and let infuse for an hour, letting it cool.
Filter the Parmesan water and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Do not remove the parts that have gathered on the bottom of the pan, which can be used to make some crispy bits. Remove the fatty layer on the surface of the cold water, setting it aside for later. Filter the water using a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Bring the water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook over medium heat for 14 minutes until al dente.
Drain the pasta and stir in the fatty layer that you set aside. Garnish with the Parmesan bits from the bottom of the pan.