Scungilli in Marinara sauce with Linguine
Scungili Alla Marinara Con Linguine

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Scungilli in Marinara sauce with Linguine
Scungili Alla Marinara Con Linguine
cookbook: Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
main ingredients:
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serves: 6 servings


For the Scungili
1½ pounds frozen scungili, or 20 pieces of fresh scungilli in their shell
3 bay leaves

For the Marinara Sauce
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
35 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, (with their liquid, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably the type dried on the branch, crumbled
1 pound linguini
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Variation: Linguini con Frutta di Mare

Prepare the marinara sauce as above, omitting the scungilli and simmering the sauce for a total of 20 minutes. Heat an additional 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 cloves crushed garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add 1/2 pound sea scallops, cut into two equal rounds and patted dry. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and add 1/2 pound of medium shelled shrimp, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Cook until the shrimp is bright pink on all sides. Stir the scallops and shrimp into the sauce, simmer 3 minutes and proceed as above.

Cook and clean the scungilli, cooking them until almost, but not quite tender, about 25 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid and slice the scungilli thin.

Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scatter the garlic over the oil and cook, shaking the skillet, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the scungilli and cook, turning the pieces continuously, until light golden, about 4 minutes. Season lightly with salt.

Pour the tomatoes into the skillet, add the crushed red pepper, 2 bay leaves and the oregano. Bring to a vigorous boil, season lightly with salt and boil 10 minutes. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer and cook until the scungilli are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the reserved scungilli cooking liquid a little at a time to keep the consistency more or less the same as the sauce cooks. The finished sauce should not be too watery.

While the sauce is simmering, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot.

When the scungilli is tender, reduce the heat under the skillet to very low. Stir the linguini into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and ladle in about three quarters of the sauce. Add the parsley and bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Simmer, tossing until the pasta is done, about 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding salt and crushed red pepper if necessary. Serve the pasta immediately in warm bowls, spooning the remaining sauce over the pasta.

Lidia's Italian American Kitchen

One of Lidia's most personal and instructive cookbooks, "Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen", focuses on Lidia’s own experience in America, and her connection in Italian-American cuisine. It is the story of how Italian-American cooking is a cuisine born of adaptation and necessity, created by new immigrants who tried to recreate the flavors of their homeland using whatever American ingredients they had access to.

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