Many sweet potato recipes seem to be a bit too sweet. Don’t you agree? That’s why I love this recipe because nothing sweet is added and the nuttiness from the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a wonderful compliment to the browned butter and potato.
Good, quality ingredients are important to me, so I love to visit the source to see how specific foods are made. In October, I had the privilege to travel to Parma, Italy to see exactly how Parmigiano Reggiano is made. I posted everything over on Instagram as we were traveling, but I also wanted to post some of the pictures here for any of you who missed it!
The raw, grass-fed milk is brought fresh into the factory each morning. They gently heat the milk, to separate the curds from the whey.
They use a large cheesecloth to lift 200lbs of curds from the whey.
That’s what 200lbs of curds looks like!
The wheel of curds is cut into two pieces and each is placed into a cheese mold. The molds sit for 3-4 days to set.
The cheese wheels are then placed in a salt water bath for about twenty days.
As the cheese sits in the water bath, it soaks up the salt. This is why Parmigiano is salty!
Then the wheels are placed on a shelf to age for 12-36 months.
Shopping Tip: The darker Parmigiano is, the longer it’s been aged.
This picture shows from left to right a slice of 12-month, 24-month and 36-month aged cheese.
The true Parmigiano Reggiano factories do not allow any chemicals to be used in the building. So, to clean the factory, they only use leftover whey and water.
The factory was spotless and smelled very clean. Maybe I should try cleaning with whey!
And, now back to our recipe! The sweet potatoes are sliced, stacked in a muffin tin, drizzled with browned garlic and sage butter and topped with Parmigiano. Of course, if you can’t get your hands on the real-deal Parmigiano cheese, another Parmesan or even Pecorino Romano will work just fine.