Giada De Laurentiis' Cheese Trick Leaves No Noodle Uncoated

When you make pasta, you ideally want every single noodle to be coated in sauce and flavor. However, that doesn't happen if they're too slippery. The most common culprit of slippery pasta is the absence of an emulsion. If all you do is add sauce to cooked noodles, the two components will naturally separate, so an emulsifying ingredient to bring them together is necessary.

Most recipes call for reserving a bit of the leftover pasta water to act as an emulsifier. The starchy liquid causes the sauce to not only thicken but also stick to the pasta. As effective as this is, though, Giada De Laurentiis swears by another trick. Just before tossing the noodles with the sauce, she grates Parmesan cheese on top of them. "Once you start tossing, the cheese has already melted on the pasta and the sauce sticks to the cheese that sticks to the pasta," De Laurentiis told Refinery29.

How much cheese does Giada De Laurentiis recommend?

Since the Parmesan cheese in this case is more about function than flavor, you only need just enough to coat all of the noodles. Giada De Laurentiis typically opts for about a half cup of grated Parmesan for every pound of pasta. This alone won't produce a very prominent cheese flavor, but you can always garnish it with more if you want to actually taste it. De Laurentiis tops her baked rigatoni, for example, with another half cup of Parmesan but for her pappardelle with sausage ragu, she only adds it once, just to coat the noodles.

To get the best possible outcome from De Laurentiis' tip, be sure not to rinse the pasta before tossing it with the cheese and sauce. As De Laurentiis wrote in "Everyday Pasta" this will remove the starch, and you want the surface to be as sticky as possible, even if you're also enlisting the help of grated Parmesan.

Giada De Laurentiis once called out Bobby Flay for taking credit for this tip

Giada De Laurentiis is not one to gatekeep her cooking tips. However, she did take issue (or, at least, she joked about taking issue) with her longtime friend and fellow chef Bobby Flay taking credit for her Parmesan cheese tip on the "Today" show. "I'm watching the 'Today' show, know Bobby's gonna be on, all of a sudden, Bobby gives this great tip to Al Roker," De Laurentiis shared with The New York Times during an interview alongside Flay. "I was like, 'No way'!"

De Laurentiis explained that she had originally learned the tip from her grandfather, and that Flay only knew about it because she had shared it on "The Rachael Ray Show" a week prior, when both of them were guests. "It's a true story," Flay admitted. "I'm just gonna start telling people I taught you it." It's pretty clear that De Laurentiis didn't actually take the incident to heart, and it just goes to show how effective the tip is, considering two celebrity chefs vouched for it.

Recommended