Why is it such a taboo to put cheese in a fish dish in traditional Italian cooking? Poppycock, say some hounds. If cheese tastes great on capellini with white clam sauce, who cares about tradition? Pass the Romano. “Anyone who does not believe that cheese and seafood go together in Italian cooking should venture to New Haven and order a white clam pizza with mozzarella,” says jfood.
But why the prohibition? It’s simple, says altajoe: Fish is delicate; cheese, especially Parmesan, is not. The thought is that the cheese will overpower the fish. Craterellus notes that this rationale would only apply to delicately sweet, impeccably fresh fish. That may be why you occasionally see an authentic Italian recipe that combines strong-tasting cheese with equally strong-tasting oysters.