How Rocco DiSpirito Incorporates Canned Clams Into Pasta - Exclusive

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You may not be in Italy right now, but a tasty Italian pasta dish can make you feel like you are (kind of). Seafood is a staple of Italian heritage, with meals like fried calamari (squid), acqua pazza (poached fish), and linguine all'astice (pasta with lobster meat) in the spotlight. Unfortunately, though, fresh seafood isn't always available — especially if you're not living on the Almafi Coast.

That's why the United States often has to adapt to canned seafood, but hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Italian American chef Rocco DiSpirito believes that tinned seafood is making its way back into the kitchen. He explained, "People are starting to recognize how valuable it is to have super-fresh food tinned right next to the source." In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table at the Sun Wine & Food Fest, the cookbook author revealed exactly what he would do with preserved fish or canned clams.

Linguine vongole should be your next dinner dish

Say you are grabbing canned seafood from Europe — such as Spain, Portugal, or Italy. It's very likely that the quality of the fish is high but the price is relatively low. When it comes to canned clams, linguine vongole (linguine with clams) should be your next move. 

Rocco DiSpirito told Tasting Table, "Most people don't want to mess with clams when they make linguine vongole. Canned clams are delicious." The Michelin-starred chef added, "They're already seasoned; they have salt. So at the end of the cooking process, where you would normally add the cooked clams, you just add the canned clams in." 

DiSpirito explained that there is no cheese in this classic Italian dish, which was first recorded made with spaghetti, not linguini, back in 1839 (via Phase Changes Kitchen). 

Say you don't have access to clams or pasta. The "Guy's Grocery Games" champion advises you to serve crostini (which translates to "little crusts" in Italian) topped with tinned fish. "[One] of the best things you can do is open a can [and] serve it on top of bread," DiSpirito said. The celebrity chef even has a recipe named Tin Fish Feast in his latest cookbook, "Rocco's Keto Comfort Food Diet," that focuses on the appetizer. We are most certainly ready to "feast"!

Keep up with Rocco DiSpirito's latest projects on his Instagram page. For more information about the Sun Wine & Food Fest, visit Mohegan Sun's website.