The first time Ballard's Staple & Fancy offered a pasta dish with Castelmagno cheese on the menu, someone sent it back. "I could make this

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Best Use of Worst Cheese

Castelmagno

The first time Ballard's Staple & Fancy offered a pasta dish with Castelmagno cheese on the menu, someone sent it back. "I could make this thing at home," said the customer, according to chef/owner Ethan Stowell. "Umm, sorry, you couldn't," says Stowell today. Castelmagno, which originates in the Piedmont region of Italy, is actually pretty hard to get. "Nobody in the state of Washington has it," says Stowell. "I have to order it from California." One of those pungent, somewhat stinky cheeses, Castelmagno is an acquired taste—Stowell calls it a "barnyard" cheese. But shaved over taglierini and balanced against sweet butter, as Stowell uses it every month or so when he gets a shipment, it adds just the right piquancy, making for a sophisticated take on fettuccine Alfredo. NINA SHAPIRO 4739 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-1200, ethanstowellrestaurants.com/stapleandfancy

 
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