The 2 Ingredients Bobby Flay Always Uses To Finish Off His Pastas

Close up of Bobby Flay
Close up of Bobby Flay - Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Bobby Flay can't resist a good pasta dish. In fact, in his cookbook "Sundays with Sophie," recipes like linguine with cherry tomatoes and creamy rigatoni with spicy sausage and roasted eggplant take center stage. Flay's tips for making perfect pasta dishes for the family are worth exploring, particularly the two ingredients he uses to finish off these recipes: Parmesan cheese and butter. Why these ingredients?

The anatomy of a pasta dish begins with the noodles. After consulting your guide to pasta shapes, you will discover some are long and thin and require a more delicate and simple coating of olive oil, while others are big and thick and are screaming for those dense, meaty sauces that keep us shoveling it into our mouths. But when you finish a dish with finely grated Parmesan cheese, it actually has two purposes. Flay explained to Food & Wine, "[Parmesan] is one of the greatest ingredients in the world. It's like nutty salt, it makes everything taste better."

But he also said it helps the sauce cling to the noodles so you get to experience a little bit of everything in each bite. How does he do it? Flay shared that his bestie, Giada De Laurentiis, told him the secret is you want to add the Parmesan to the cooked pasta before adding the noodles to the sauce.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Butter, parmesan cheese, noodles
Butter, parmesan cheese, noodles - Salvomassara/Shutterstock

The savory goodness of Parmesan cheese is not the only finishing enhancer Bobby Flay uses with his pasta dishes. Flay is a butter fan — honestly, who isn't? He said "Butter is key," and just a pat of this dairy will create a richer-tasting sauce. Like the Parmesan, the added fat will also help the sauce coat the pasta and act as some added adhesive for all those little bits of veggies and meat to stick to it.

If you are using a tomato-based pasta sauce, the butter will temper the acidity and add sweetness to it. In other cases like a stock-based sauce, it can also help thicken it up. This is a plus because the taste of a thicker sauce will linger on your tongue a little longer than one that is on the thinner side. The addition of butter has another perk. It can help reduce a skin from forming on your sauce if you are making it ahead of time and aren't serving it right away. Between Parmesan's complex flavor and butter's velvety texture, these two finishers are a true powerhouse for your taste buds.

Pasta with parmesan cheese, butter, and nuts
Pasta with parmesan cheese, butter, and nuts - Oksanakiian/Getty Images

The "Always Hungry with Bobby and Sophie Flay" podcaster advises you to use a butter that is unsalted. He told All Recipes, "...I always use unsalted butter. That's a chef's tip, because we like to add the salt later on." And when it comes to the type of butter he uses to finish off his pasta, Flay leans toward his Irish roots, saying, "I have some Irish blood in me, so I go with Kerrygold. I just know it's going to taste good and grassy in the best way."

This is good to keep in mind whether you are making Bobby Flay's spaghetti and meatballs, Tuscan pasta, or a simple spaghetti carbonara. It also works well for one of Flay's favorite pasta dishes — pasta with anchovy and butter. In an Instagram post, he wrote, "Remember this pasta with anchovy and butter that was featured on #BobbyAndGiadaInItaly?? It's one of my favorite pasta dishes of all time." So next time you're whipping up a bowl of pasta, make sure to grab some Parm and butter to up the ante.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.