Italian Shellfish Recipes
The word scungilli is the Neapolitan dialect word for conch, which is sconsiglio. If you live near
the ocean, you may be able to find fresh conch, but mostly you will find them sold in ethnic
markets partially cooked and frozen or in cans. Scungilli has a pleasant briny flavor and a
dense, meaty texture.
How to Cook Scungilli
If the conch are frozen, put them in a bow land cover them with cold water. Put the bowl in the refrigerator until thawed, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the conch and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce to a simmer; cook the conch until tender when pierced with
a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut the conch into 1/4-inch slices. When you get to a dark tube, pull it out and discard it. There is
another tube on the outside of the body that does not need to be removed. Rinse the slices well and pat them dry.
If you are making this salad with fresh or frozen scungilli, use about 1 pound
and cook it as described above before proceeding with this recipe.
3 (8 ounce) cans scungilli, drained and rinsed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces olive oil
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
1 large red onion, cut into slivers
2 stalks celery, sliced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Parmesan cheese for dusting (optional)
Put scungilli in a large bowl. Add garlic, oil, lemon juice, oregano, basil, salt
and pepper. Stir well, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Just before serving, combine lettuce, red onion, celery, and tomatoes in a
large salad bowl. Pour scungilli mixture over and toss well. Sprinkle with
Parmesan, if desired.
Scungilli in Hot Sauce
In this recipe the scungilli is cooked in the sauce, so there is no need to to
2 pounds fresh or frozen scungilli, thawed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 (28 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 cup white wine
Toasted slices of Italian bread, for serving
Cut the scungilli into 1/4-inch slices. Rinse the slices and pat dry.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic
and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the garlic is golden. Add the tomatoes,
wine, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and
cook for 15 minutes. Add the scungilli and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring
occasionally until the scungilli is tender and the sauce is thickened, about 30
minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water.
Place a few slices of toasted bread in 4 pasta bowls. Top with some of the
scungilli and serve.
Spicy Scungilli Fritters
1 pound scungilli, canned or frozen (thawed)
1/3 cup milk
1-1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Tomato sauce for dipping
Finely chop the scungilli in a food processor. Transfer the scungilli to a bowl.
Add the milk and egg; mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, onion, and
pepper sauce. Mix well to combine.
In a deep fryer, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Drop the fritter mixture by
tablespoons into the hot oil. Deep fry the fritters until brown on all side, about
3 to 5 minutes. Drain the fritters on paper towels. Serve the fritters hot with
tomato sauce for dipping.
ITALIAN SEAFOOD RECIPES > SHELLFISH (SCUNGILLI)
WHAT IS SCUNGILLI?
Scungilli is the Italian word for a conch or
whelk, which are essentially large marine
snails. The muscle, or part that is eaten,
resembles a foot. Their meat is dense,
chewy, and quite sweet. Larger Italian
grocery stores may stock frozen scungilli
but it is more commonly sold in cans.
Serve scungilli with garlic bread on the
side; it's great for soaking up the juices
from the shellfish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Split a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise
into 2 pieces. Place the bread, cut side
up, on a baking sheet. Stir together
finely minced fresh garlic and softened
butter. Spread over both pieces of
bread. Sprinkle some grated
Parmesan cheese and chopped
parsley over the top. Bake for 10-15
minutes, or until just starting to turn
Some people cringe at the idea of
using garlic powder instead of fresh
garlic, but for this recipe I find that it
works eqaully as well. Simply spread
the butter over the bread, sprinkle
generously with garlic powder, add the
Parmesan and parsley, and bake.
Some useful food words or terms that you may find in
Italian recipes, while dining at an Italian restaurant, or traveling in Italy.