Saturday, April 6, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Scungilli in Hot Tomato Sauce l Preparing Conch and Friselle

The turkey leftovers are getting on everyone's nerves.
And the sugar and caffeine from the chocolate isn't helping either.
Time to visit the shrink, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, M.D., M.A., M.F.T.

Jennifer's chapter Rage, Guilt, Loneliness, and Food in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook has a recipe for conch.
The recipe is simple enough.
It's just a bit of a hassle to find scungilli.
Especially if you live in a neighbourhood like mine.
In cooking, as in real estate, location is everything.

Conch, also called scungilli, is second in popularity to the escargot for edible snails.
It can be eaten raw, as in salads, or cooked, as in fritters, chowders and gumbos. 
All parts of the conch meat are edible.
Some people only like the white meat.
Lucky them if they can find it.

Friselle are black pepper biscuits.
Before serving, sprinkle them with cool water and let them sit for 10 minutes.
After they soften, break them into pieces and put the pieces in 4 pasta bowls.
Toasted sliced Italian bread works, too.

If you have fresh tomatoes, substitute 
3 pounds peeled, seeded and chopped for the canned.

If you do find frozen scungilli place them in a large bowl of cold water to cover 
and refrigerate several hours or overnight to thaw, changing the water occasionally.
Rinse the scungilli and cut it into 1/4 inch slices.
Remove and discard the dark tubes - they're filled with spongy, gritty matter.
The tube on the outside is safe to eat.
Rinse the slices and pat dry.

If you can't find scungilli, no problem.
The leftover turkey is getting a bit off.
Time to disguise it a bit.

                        Scungilli in Hot Sauce

Serves 4

In a large saucepan place
1/3 Cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
Cook over medium heat until the garlic is lightly golden.
2 28 to 35-ounce can Italian tomatoes, chopped
! Cup dry white wine
salt to taste
Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally.
Add the scungilli and bring to a simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
If the sauce become too thick, stir in a little water.
Taste for seasoning.

Place the prepared friselle or toasted sliced Italian bread in the 4 bowls.
Spoon the scungilli onto the bread and serve immediately.

Would I make Scungilli in Hot Sauce?
Sure, if I could find it.
The sauce worked well with the leftover turkey.
I'm going to try it with large shrimp and serve them with spaghetti.

One recipe down.  Twenty-five more to go.


  1. Hey, I know this is really late but how would the portions work if it were 3 servings? Recipe looks good though!

    1. Just fine - the three can have a bit more each, or someone can have seconds or there's enough for a meal for one the next day. There aren't any portion police out there. Enjoy!

    2. I'm like you scungilli out of the can..... and into the sauce..some people saut'e them in oil and garlic makes it to mushy....

    3. Hi, Unknown!
      We can only cook what we can get. Canned works, too.

  2. Wow! Recipe was fantastic ! brought me back to my NY Brooklyn days . I used the brand name "La Monica " and it came out great ! Thank you for this recipe it was 5 years that i did not taste this dish ,since i moved to Florida . Regards, Rene , Sarasota, Florida , USA

    1. Hi, Rene!
      Glad the recipe came out great and that it brought back happy memories to you!
      Happy Holidays and all the best in 2020!


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