Making the Parmesan stock for Risotto Cacio e Pepe is the first challenge, but follow the instructions and it will be perfect.
- 1 lb (500 g) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (about 5 cups)
- 1 litre water
Place grated cheese and water in a large pan. Heat at medium low for about 10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 176 F (80 C). Cheese will become stringy. Do not let temperature exceed 194 F (90 C). Let cool to room temperature.
Return cooled mixture to medium-low heat and heat to 176 F (80 C) again. Remove from heat. Let rest at room temperature for four hours or refrigerate overnight. The liquid should separate into three layers: a Parmigiano cream on top, milky Parmigiano stock in the middle (the whey) and solid Parmigiano proteins on the bottom.
Skim the cream off the top into a bowl and reserve. Strain the stock and reserve in a separate bowl. Discard the solids from bottom.