Recently, one of Marcella’s facebook friends asked.

Marcella, can you answer the age-old question as to why Italians do not put cheese on pasta with fish? (or on any fish for that matter!)

Marcella answered:

When it comes to flavor, consensus over time is the foundation supporting traditional predilections. In those preparations where seafood is cooked or marinated in olive oil – linguine with clams, grilled whole fish – the texture and flavor of Parmesan cheese are incongruous. How do you explain incongruity? You either get it or you don’t. This not an absolute prohibition, however. In Venice, where we sometimes cook seafood in butter, a light dose of Parmesan cheese is acceptable. And even in some strongly flavored dishes based on olive oil, cheese may find a place, but only Romano, not Parmigiano.