One of my favorite dishes in the whole world is escargot bourguignon. When I was a little kid and my dad took me to France for the first time, I would eat it at every meal. The best part was all that garlic butter and the bread soaking it all up — and the earthy taste of the snail itself. When I started playing around and making this dish at home, and as I got older, I realized one of my favorite ways to eat it was actually over pasta.
Technique tip: For this recipe it's best to use shelled snails.
Swap option: This dish is meant to be made with snails, but if they are not available, either shrimp, bay scallops, or crab can be substituted.
For the breadcrumbs:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a food processor, pulse the bread until broken down. Then pulse with the parsley, olive oil, zest and garlic until coarse crumbs form. Season with salt and pepper, then spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and crisp; let cool. Set aside.
For the snails:1.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When oil is aromatic and rippling, add the garlic and shallots, and sauté until just beginning to caramelize.2.
Push the shallot mix to the sides, raise heat to high and add the butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the butter is nut brown in color and aromatic. Add the snails and cook for a minute or two.3.
Add the lemon and herbs, toss and cook for a second or two. Swirl the pan and set aside.4.
Add some salt to the boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. This only takes a few minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water and raise the heat under the snails to high.5.
Add the pasta water to the sauce and back up. Add the reserved pasta to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce. Season with salt and ground white pepper.
Divide the pasta amongst 4 plates. Divide sauce and snails over pasta. Serve, garnished with the breadcrumbs.