Culinary Arts Project

Kitchen Tidbits: Vongole Posillipo

Kitchen Tidbits coverI’m so excited, my book, Kitchen Tidbits is now available through Amazon! The book is filled with the tips and tricks that I picked up while studying at the International Culinary School in New York City. All proceeds from the book are being donated to the Nikibasika Development Program in Uganda.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my amazing teachers and classmates who taught me so much.

Kitchen Tidbits inside credits

I’m currently testing recipes for Joanne Moscani-Piano’s father, and one of the recipes is his popular clam dish (Vongole Posillipo). The full recipe will be out in his cookbook, but it’s one of those wonderful “seven ingredient” recipes: evo, garlic, clams, plum tomatoes, oregano, pepper, parsley. Yum. You can serve this over pasta as well.


  • Why don’t some clams open: Clams are alive when you put them in the pot and are aggressively holding their shells shut. During the cooking they die and stop holding the shells together so they open. If they don’t, then they were dead before (and probably rotten) and have rigor mortis which holds the shell shut.
  • 4 flavors: very basically, I think of always balancing 4 flavors: sweet, sour, salt, pepper. More on flavor profiles to come, but I find this to be one of the most fundamental things about cooking:
    • Sweet: e.g. onions, carrots, sugar, maple syrop
    • Sour: e.g. balsamic, lemon, tomatoes
    • Salt: e.g. anchovies, parmesan, bacon, kosher salt
    • Pepper: e.g. dijon, thai chili, tabasco, red pepper flakes, pepper
  • Don’t add salt to a clam dish. The salt water released by the clams will be salty enough. In fact, Chef Pietro recommends diluting with a little water to take down the salt profile.

What secret ingredient do you use for sweet, sour, salt, pepper?

Buy now: Amazon (Canada) or Amazon (USA)