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Have you ever noticed how plain the taste of cheese is? Yet, it is more than tricky to handle it. Even more than the spicy, meat dishes. The pasta dishes with cheese and sauces on them seem simple. But when you cook them, you really need to be smarter. I play smart with my alfredo pasta but my question is: Why is my alfredo sauce grainy?
The answer to this problem is more than one. Using a pre-shredded parmesan cheese or adding too much cheese can make the sauce grainy. Cooking the sauce on high flame or adding the cheese too early does the same to the sauce. Early adding may let it get overcooked.
Good news is that you can take measures to avoid the grainy sauce. Even more, you can fix the problem and may not think, what’s done can not be undone. Stay with me and see what you can do to enjoy a perfect pasta with creamy cheese taste.
Why is my alfredo sauce grainy?
You may know more about the solution by knowing more about the cheese sauce.
Cheese is made of protein, water and milk fat.
The protein in the cheese, due to alternative reasons, may bind together leaving the water behind. This process would lead to lumpy, gritty or grainy sauce. The lumps, though, have their own pleasure but not in the pasta sauce.
There are multiple reasons while cooking that can make your alfredo sauce grainy. Better look at the reasons before finding the solution:
Reasons for a grainy sauce: Top 6 facts that matter
- Using a pre-shredded packaged cheese would not be a good option for the sauce. It can make the sauce go grainy
- Rough and thicker pieces of cheese would not go well in the cooking process of the sauce.
- Adding too much cheese without balancing the quantity of pasta and sauce would give bad results as of grainy sauce.
- Melting of cheese takes more time, so if the cheese is all added at once, the melting procedure would be hampered making the sauce grainy.
- Adding parmesan in the middle of cooking can be one of the many reasons as it works best when added in the end, off the flame.
- Cooking on high flame can also cause trouble as the high temperatures are not a good pick for cooking cheese. That is why it is a recommendation to add cheese off the flame.
Solutions: How to avoid grainy alfredo sauce
For every reason, the solution is already there. Let us figure them out.
- Always consider buying fresh cheese from the market rather than using a pre shredded cheese.
- Finely grate the cheese to let it melt slowly and cook evenly.
- Stick to the recipe more to look for the exact quantities as the imbalance makes your pasta go bad.
- Add the cheese slowly from time to time and let it cook evenly.
- It is better to add the parmesan cheese in the end when the pasta is off the flame.
Read More: Why is jersey mikes so expensive?
How to fix the grainy alfredo sauce?
Well, the grainy sauce can be fixed by doing some magic tricks. Follow them carefully and see how they work for you:
01. Blend and strain method:
Blend the sauce after heating it on low flame. Strain warm, blended sauce in a chinois or a fine mesh strainer. Norpro Stainless Steel 642 Chinois could be best in that sense.
Make bechamel sauce now. And add it in the alfredo sauce. If still you find the taste lighter, add up parmesan cheese to make it creamy and smooth.
The recipe for the bechamel sauce:
- Take 1-2 cups of milk and let it boil.
- Now in a separate pan take 25-30 gm butter, melt it and add 25-30 gm plain flour.
- Cook them together by stirring to make a paste.
- Now add boiled milk to it. This creamy sauce is called bechamel.
02. Using Sodium Citrate:
Another option is adding Nutricost sodium citrate powder that is a natural and safe emulsifier. It is added by whisking it in the sauce and heating the sauce on a low flame for sometime.
03. Adding lemon juice:
If you find curdling, remove the pan from the flame, and shift to any other pan to lower the temperature at once. Now add a spoonful of lemon juice.
The lemon acid will detangle the molecules of protein. The taste would not be disturbed until you add only the needed quantity.
04. Adding cream:
Instead of lemon juice, you can also add cream and whisk the sauce fast. The fat in the cream would stabilize the temperature and lumpiness of the sauce. The refrigerated cream is what you need for this purpose.
Note: While whisking, keep your speed fast and vigorous. This will help you get rid of lumpy sauce in less time. A good which would help more in that.
Why is my white sauce grainy?
Low fat , high heat or skim milk can be some of the reasons for grainy white sauce. The white sauce is grainy when you don’t take care of the heat and the whisking process.
The white sauce then results in a gritty texture that destroys the flavor of the dish. Sometimes adding a little too much flour can make the white sauce lumpy.
In order to avoid the lumps, add the milk to the roux(cooked butter and flour paste) in small quantities. With every pouring, whisk like a machine that works at a constant pace.
Milk is added once the flour leaves its raw smell. Thus the step by step mixing would result in thicker, creamier and smooth sauce.
If the damage has been done, there is still a way out. Take the pan away from the flame and add some ice cold water instead of more milk and beat like a mad man. The lumps would disappear in a few minutes.
Any More Questions?
Why is my white gravy lumpy?
The gravy is lumpy if you add in too much flour. The flour when added at once in larger quantities can react with hot stock and stick together into lumps.
Using a strainer to dust a little amount into the gravy would be the smart idea. Just cook it on a low flame and see if you need more flour or that is enough.
Why is my cream sauce grainy?
Cream sauce has dairy items in it. Dairy products are prone to curdling. This is because of the proteins that tend to separate in a mixture. Low fats, high heat or more acid can cause the graininess in the cream sauce.
Why is my tomato sauce grainy?
The tomato sauce becomes grainy for two reasons. One is if you use the canned tomatoes for making the sauce, the additives in the can would not let them go mushy.
Secondly, the presence of acids can cause lumps in sauce. So either use tomato paste or fresh tomatoes to make a tomato sauce.
Try the tomato paste such as Contadina Canned Tomatoes available on amazon.
Why use finely grated cheese in pasta sauce?
Finely grated cheese melts easily on low flame and maintains a balance in cooking. The dice of cheese takes more time to melt and overheating can cause lumps of hardening of pasta or pasta sauce.
To keep your sauce smooth, creamy and natural in taste, you need to stick more to the recipe, focus on the cooking time of cheese and follow the instructions about ingredients used. I hope you will have much better and creamier pasta next time.