Pecorino and Parmesan Cheese Straws

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    24

    cheese straws

Appears in

These slender straws feature two aged cheeses, one made from cow’s milk and the other from sheep’s milk. The Parmesan is milder, but its distinctive deep flavor is unmistakable; the rustic pecorino adds a salty sharpness. I often serve these straws to accompany soups and salads.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 5 oz (155 g) aged pecorino cheese, coarsely grated
  • 5 oz (155 g) Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated
  • ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Method

In a food processor, combine the butter pieces, pecorino, Parmesan, and white and cayenne pepper and process until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add the flour while pulsing to blend. When all of the flour has been incorporated, remove the dough from the processor, shape into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a rimmed baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time and keep the others covered. On a lightly floured work surface, using the palms of your hands, roll the dough back and forth over the work surface until it is a narrow cylinder about the diameter of a drinking straw. Cut into 6- to 8-inch (15- to 20-cm) lengths. Place the lengths on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.

Bake the cheese straws until they are golden brown and lightly crisp, 15–20 minutes. Let cool for 5–10 minutes, then gently transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature. Or, let cool completely, transfer to a loosely closed paper bag, and store in a dry place at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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