First of all, Scungilli is not the name of one of the characters in the 1970's "Godfather" movie. Scungilli translates to conch. Scungilli is a sea snail that is very mild tasting, like a fresh clam.
Sliced poached fresh scungilli is good for this recipe, but it is a bit hard to find outside of Italy. Imported Italian canned scungilli is a very nice product and the small cans are single portion size. Canned scungilli from Italy is used by many Italian chefs and the meat is very tender.
Fusilli col buco simply translates to corkscrew pasta. Passata translates to "pass through a sieve" or "to puree with a sieve." Passata di pomodoro is flavored with only the basic ingredients of a tomato sauce. There are no herbs in a passata di pomodoro. This type of tomato sauce is traditional for scungilli and gnocchi.
Many pastas recipes in Italy require specific sauces. The first fine Italian restaurant where I apprenticed had gnocchi and scungilli on the menu. We made five different tomato sauces. The passata di pomodoro was only used for the scungilli and the gnocchi menu entrees! I have noticed that the internet is flooded with scungilli marinara recipes. Marinara is the wrong sauce for scungilli! The three great Italian chefs from Modena, Venice and Sicily that I apprenticed with, could explain why tomato sauces are "recipe specific" far better than I can. After one taste of this scungilli passata di pomodoro, I am sure that you would agree. This sauce is superb with scungilli!
Passata di Pomodoro Recipe:
This recipe makes enough sauce for two small portions or 1 large portion. Use the best imported Italian canned San Marzano tomatoes that you can find! It does not take much time to cook this sauce. Especially if good italian tomatoes are used.
Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
Add 1 1/2 ounces of olive oil.
Add 1/3 cup of very finely minced onion.
Add 6 very finely minced garlic cloves.
Saute the onions, till they become clear in color. (Do not brown the onions and garlic at all!)
Add 6 ounces of imported canned Italian plum tomato puree.
Add 6 ounces of imported canned Italian crushed San Marzano plum tomatoes.
Add sea salt and black pepper. (Do not add any basil or oregano at all!)
Stir the ingredients together.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Let the sauce simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir the sauce often.
Stir the olive oil back into the tomatoes, each time that the olive oil separates.
When the sauce reduces a little bit and there is no loose tomato juice olive oil showing, then the sauce is done cooking.
Press the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, into a bowl.
Set the sauce aside.
Passata di pomodoro is never left on the stove to be kept warm. This sauce is always reheated to order!
Scungilli e Fusilli Col Buco al Passata di Pomodoro Recipe:
If you used canned imported Italian scungilli, add a splash of the scungilli broth from the can. The same applies to poached fresh scungilli. Just add a splash of the scungilli poaching liquid.
Cook 1 portion of fusilli col buco pasta in boiling water till it becomes al dente. The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks!
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic.
When the garlic turns a golden color, add 6 ounces of sliced imported Italian canned scungilli.
Saute the scungilli, till it becomes warm.
Add 1 pinch of crushed red chile pepper.
Add about 6 to 8 ounces of the passata di pomodoro sauce to the scungilli.
Simmer the sauce, till it becomes hot.
Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
When the pasta becomes al dente, drain the water off of the pasta.
Add the fusilli col buco pasta to the sauce.
Toss the sauce and pasta together.
Sprinkle some finely grated parmesan cheese on the pasta and sauce.
Toss the cheese, sauce and pasta together.
Mound the sauced scungilli and pasta on a plate.
Sprinkle a little bit of finely grated parmesan cheese over the pasta.
Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
If you enjoy the flavor of clams, then you will love this pasta. The passata di pomodoro sauce is so very smooth and it clings to the fusilli col buco very nicely. The flavor of the sauce has a very clean and bright garlic tomato flavor.
So far, I have used absolutely no electric appliances to make the recipes for this blog! I cook every recipe the old fashioned way. The passata technique of pressing the sauce through a sieve is far superior to pureeing the sauce in a food processor. The end result is worth the extra effort. Yum! Ciao Baby! ... Shawna