Make tinned food the star of the show with these clever recipes

Spaghetti with cuttlefish
Spaghetti with cuttlefish: 'Your guests won't even know you've opened a couple of cans,' says Hix - Matt Austin

Tinned food kind of got itself a bad name back in the days of Spam and luncheon meat and tinned peas, but there are some great products out there. Maybe we have taken a leaf from other European countries’ books and upped our game a bit on the canning front, borrowing their methods of preserving and using better liquids and oils in the process.

I remember years ago visiting a factory in Italy and the cans would be lined with a kind of enamel rather than the plastic typically used here. And at the famous fish canning factories in Spain, I saw that the seafood wasn’t boiled to death before going in the tin – indeed some of it, like the anchovies, was cured and preserved in oil so that the tins have a short shelf life and need refrigerating.

My good friend Mitch Tonks has certainly raised the bar for UK fish canning and has a great range of Rockfish tinned fish which you can buy online or in various smart shops and independent delis. Tins come in handy when it comes to menu planning so take a bit of inspiration from your larder and make them the main ingredients.