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 bowl and 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.
Scungilli Salad(Serves 4)
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,frozen or canned 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 golden brown.
Some people cringe at the idea of using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, but for this recipe I find that it works equally as well. Simply spread the butter over the bread, sprinkle generously with garlic powder, add the Parmesan and parsley, and bake.
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