Discover many ideas on how to combine our snails in the kitchen

Snails have been used in the kitchen since ancient times as we can very well see from the literature, from Apicius in his “De Re Coquinaria” to Pellegrino Artusi in “Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well”.

Indeed, the Italian gastronomic tradition includes at least one snail dish in the typical cuisine of all Italian regions. It is no coincidence that snails have long been considered a poor ingredient, cheap but rich in proteins. Then in recent years, snails have experienced a resurgence thanks to gourmet cuisine that has made them protagonists of new dishes in an innovative form.

Arcenni Tuscany proposes Helix Aspersa Muller, snails already purged and ready for cooking.

“Arcenni Tuscany” snails are supplied already purged and ready to cook.

After removing the snails from the bag, it is necessary to eliminate any dead snails present. They are easily recognized as they give off an unpleasant smell and are sometimes even humid. The presence of dead snails does not compromise the quality of the product and is considered normal from 1 to 5%.
Carefully wash the snails with lukewarm water to awaken them and wait for them to come out of the shell, helping them by removing the operculum (the cap that covers the mouth opening of the snail).

When they are fully awake, prepare a solution of water, vinegar, and salt (for each kg of snails we recommend using 5 liters of water, half a glass of white wine vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of salt). Immerse the snails in the solution, alternating vigorous movements with short interruptions to let them rest.

During this washing it will be normal to notice residues in the water container as this operation causes the snails emit abundant slime. Change the solution several times until it is clear. Usually 2 or 3 washes of 10 minutes each are required. At the end, wash the snails with running water.

This operation has the purpose of preparing the snails for subsequent cooking, eliminating residual slime and flavoring the meat. Put the snails in a pot with water (we recommend 5 liters of cold water for each kg of snails). Place over low heat for a few minutes, then increase the heat.

Add salt and herbs (onion, celery, carrot, sprigs of rosemary, mint and bay leaf), bring to a boil, and cook for at least 40 minutes. During boiling, remove the slime with the help of a skimmer.

Drain the snails and pass them under running water to cool them. Now you can proceed according to the desired recipe or, if you prefer, even freeze them.

If you want to cook the snails with the shell, remove those whose shell is damaged. If the recipe calls for cooking the snails without shells, first shell by removing the part of the final curl and rinsing the pulp one last time with water and lemon.

Spaghetti with Snail Ragout


Ingredients: 500 g of shelled and boiled snails or 1 Arcenni Tuscany “Ready Snails” jar (200 g), 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 500 g of ripe tomato puree, 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 300 g of spaghetti, salt and pepper to taste.

Slowly fry the onion, garlic, and carrot in a saucepan with the oil. Chop the snails, add them to the mixture, and boil. Add the tomato and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 45 minutes. Let rest. Meanwhile, boil the water in a pot, add salt, and cook the spaghetti. Drain the pasta and quickly sauté the spaghetti with the previously prepared ragout. Enjoy your meal!

Alternative: Sauté the spaghetti with the Snail ragout “Ragù di Chiocciole” jar (210 g).

Fried snails


500 g of shelled and boiled snails or, alternatively, 1 Arcenni Tuscany Ready Snails 200 g jar (drain the snails and dry them with paper), frying oil, 2 eggs, 20 g of flour, 100 g of breadcrumbs, 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the shelled snails with the flour. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat the frying oil in a pan. Dip the snails in the egg, coat with the breadcrumbs, and fry them one by one. Remove excess oil with a cloth or straw paper. Put all the snails in a serving dish and serve them hot. Enjoy your meal!

Snail stew or Snail “Guazzetto”


1 kg of snails in shell, 1 onion, 1 stick celery, 1 carrot, 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, vegetable broth (about ½ liter), 1 chili pepper, 500 g of peeled tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper to taste - Tuscan bread.

Prepare a mixture of onion, celery, and carrot, and put it in a large saucepan with a fairly tall edge together with the extra virgin olive oil and chili pepper. Add first tomato and salt and then the snails in shell, and let simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add vegetable broth from time to time to prevent the mix from drying out too much.

Chef’s advice: “As with any dish with sauce, homemade bread is essential, and preferably of the Tuscan variety! Serve hot, using toothpicks, sucking on the sauce left in the shells without being afraid of getting your hands dirty… and enjoy your meal!”

Omelet with snails and wild herbs


500 g of shelled and boiled snails, oil, 1 onion, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon of chopped spearmint, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of chopped basil, 1 tablespoon of borage, 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper to taste .

Beat the eggs with the herbs, Parmigiano cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the shelled snails to the mixture. Put the oil in a pan and, when hot, brown the onion. Pour the mixture into the pan and cook the omelet. Serve hot. Enjoy your meal!

Alternative using the “Chiocciole al Verde” jar (320 g): Mix the beaten eggs, the Parmigiano cheese, and the contents of the jar. Pour the mixture into the pan and cook the omelet.

“Alla romana” Snails


1 kg of boiled snails in shell, 1 glass of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 sprig of parsley, 4 anchovy fillets, 1 cup of tomato pulp, 4 mint leaves, 1 pinch of chili pepper, salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the parsley and anchovy fillets. In the saucepan, brown the garlic clove in hot oil, remove it, and add the chopped parsley and anchovies, then the tomato pulp. Season with salt, chili pepper, and mint leaves. Cook for about 15 minutes, then add the boiled snails and cook them over medium heat for another 20 minutes. Serve hot and still in the saucepan.
Enjoy your meal!

Snails au gratin


1 kg of boiled snails, snail shells, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano cheese flakes, 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 200 g of butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Boil and shell the snails, keeping the shells on the side. In a deep dish, mix the butter (room temperature) with finely chopped parsley and garlic. With a wooden spatula, mix everything well until you obtain a cream. Fill the shells with the cream and slip a snail in each shell, spread the snails again with butter cream until they are fully covered and sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs. Place the garnished shells on a baking dish and heat the oven to 200°C. Gratin for 8-10 minutes and serve immediately.

Snails with sausage


1.5 kg of boiled snails in shell, a sachet of saffron, 1 onion, half a chili pepper, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of wheat flour, 1 glass of wine, 400 g of sausage, 200 g of lean bacon, 500 g of ripe tomatoes, 4 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper to taste

Slowly fry the onion, garlic, and chili pepper in a saucepan with the oil. Add the bacon and sausages cut into pieces, then add the flour and mix. In the meantime, sieve the tomato, then add it to the mixture and boil. Add the boiled snails with the shell and the saffron sachet. Mix well taking care not to break the shells, add salt and cover during cooking. After half an hour, uncover and let the sauce absorb if it is still liquid. Serve hot on a serving dish… and enjoy your meal!

Risotto with snails and leek


150 g shelled and boiled snails, or 1 Arcenni Tuscany “Ready Snails” jar (200 g), 200 g of rice, 60 g of onion cream, 500 g of white veal stock, 100 g of butter, 100 g of Parmigiano cheese, 100 g of chopped parsley, 40 g of extra virgin olive oil, 50 g of white leek, broth, salt to taste.

Boil and shell the snails or open the jar. Clean the leeks and cut them into rings, then stew them in a drizzle of oil with half a ladle of broth. For the onion cream: simmer two onions with half a liter of water and blend them. Toast the rice over high heat with 10 g of extra virgin olive oil, add the onion cream, and cook with the white veal stock. Halfway through cooking, add the snails and leeks. When cooked, stir in the butter and Parmigiano cheese. Garnish the dish with a few whole snails and the parsley emulsion obtained by blending the remaining oil with the parsley. Enjoy your meal!

Alternative using the “Chiocciole al porri in bianco” jar (320 g): Prepare the onion cream and toast the rice as above. Halfway through cooking add the contents of the jar. When cooked, stir in the butter and Parmigiano cheese.