300gramsescargotsweighed with the shells or about 20-30 medium-sized snails
half red onionfinely chopped
salt and freshly grated pepper to taste
1cuprisotto rice such as Arborio, Carolina, Carnaroli
Prepare the escargots: Rinse the snails very well and soak in a bowl filled with fresh water for 5 minutes. Clean with a sponge and remove the membranes with the tip of a knife.
Bring a pot filled with water and 2 tablespoons wine vinegar to a boil. Transfer the snails to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse very well until the escargots are very clean.
Make the risotto: Transfer the olive oil and the onion to a pot and sauté over high heat for 2 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the escargots and stir for 2 minutes.Add the pureed tomatoes, the bay leaf, the salt and the freshly grated black pepper. Add enough water (if needed) to almost cover the escargots and bring to a boil.Cover with the lid, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes (halfway through cooking check the pot and add a splash of water if necessary).
Remove the escargots with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate. Add the water and the rice to the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the escargots, stir gently and continue cooking covered for another 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the food rest in the pot for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce is absorbed by the rice.Serve immediately.
For canned escargots, with or without the shell: Rinse them well and, skip step 1 and step 2. Start from step 3.