BASIC PREPARATION OF SNAILS
Place a piece of bread previously soaked and squeezed, or optionally two handfuls of flour, on the bottom of a wicker basket – or a bucket, but in this case pay attention to the passage of air -. Put the snails in this container, cover with a lid and let them rest for 48 hours.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, a glass of vinegar, two handfuls of salt. Rinse the snail, moving them into the water. They would produce foam. Change the water – always with the same quantity of vinegar and salt – several times until the snails will not produce any more foam: it would take about one hour. Rinse them the last time under the running water.
Put the snails in a big pot; over them pot with cold water; add the usual amount vinegar and salt. Bring to boil and cook 20 minutes.
Drain and rinse them under the running water to cool.
Extract the molluscs from the shells with a toothpick or a thin fork. Eliminate the final dark part (the intestine) of them. Rinse again in water and vinegar.
At this point the snails can be prepared according the various recipes
LUMACHE DI SAN GIOVANNI
SNAILS FOR SAINT JOHN DAY
Ingredients for 4:
80 gr ( 6 tbs) extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
4 salted anchovies, de-boned and minced
500 gr ( 1.1 lb ) canned tomatoes
red chilli pepper
½ tbs minced fresh mint
fresh ground pepper
Brown the whole garlic in the olive oil in a large pan. Take it off and add the anchovies, pressing them with a wooden spoon until they melt.
Add the pureed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir and cook to reduce shortly.
Add the mint and the hot chilli pepper.
Add the snails, previously prepared as above. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, adding hot broth if necessary.