Italian Mantis Shrimp Stew Tuscan Style

A few days ago, at my local fishmonger, I saw some Mantis shrimp (known also as Squilla Mantis, a marine crustacean typical in Mediterranean waters). I never cooked them but, attracted by the promotional price, I bought them.

I must say that the shop assistant who helped me, gave me some very useful tips and tricks on how to clean and prep them. She was also very kind as to pick for me the plump ones: clearly plumper equals to more flavors.

I choose to prepare this Mantis Shrimp Stew the Tuscan way – a seafood dish that requires tomatoes – but you can also make it “in bianco” (a white version, which in Italian means without tomatoes).

Since this recipe it’s going to yield a good amount of sauce, use it to season a dish of spaghetti or linguine, it’s truly exceptional. Buon Appetibilis!

And here’s what you’ll need to make the recipe.
Delightfully yours,
Maria Rosaria

Recipe: Italian Mantis Shrimp Stew Tuscan Style

Brodetto alla vastese :: Cicala di mare... Squilla | photo: © ockstyle
  • Author’s Recipe: Maria Rosaria De Luca
  • Category: appetizer, soup & stew, first course
  • Cuisine: Italian, Tuscany
  • Keywords: seafood stew, mantis shrimp, Italian mantis shrimp stew
  • Servings: 4
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium – high


  • 300 g mantis shrimp (10.58 oz)
  • 1 kg 200 g tomato passata (2.64 lb)
  • 40 g parsley (1.41 oz)
  • 85 g extra virgin olive oil (3 oz or 6 tablespoons)
  • 40 g dry white wine (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 g fine sea salt (or 1 teaspoon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small chili pepper (optional)


  1. Wash the shrimps under running cold water. With the help of a scissors, remove the legs and cut along to open. Leave them in cold water until needed.
  2. Prepare the battuto (aromatic mix) by chopping the parsley and garlic until finely minced; if you choose to use the chili pepper then mince it too, then add it to the mix.
  3. Heat-up some oil in a skillet, over medium-high heat, and stir in the battuto.
  4. In the meantime, pat each shrimp dry with some paper towels and add them to the skillet.
  5. Once they start to turn toward a golden color, (between 3 to 5 minutes), pour over the wine and let it evaporate. Another couple of minutes should do.
  6. At this point, carefully add the passata, season it and let it simmer for around 15 minutes (from bubble time). Check the seasoning and remove from heat.
  7. Serve hot with toasted slices of bread, they’ll help you with scarpetta [skar-pét-ta].

Editor’s Note:

  • The art of making scarpetta consist in using a piece of bread to collect the irresistible sauce left on a plate, after you ate everything. An universal gesture made at the Italian tables… yum!
  • The tomato passata is a tomato puree usually made with cooked ripe tomatoes that, in order to remove seeds and skin, have been passed through a food mill.
  • About the oil. Any vegetable oil of your preference will do.
  • Fine sea salt can be replaced with kosher salt.
  • The weight conversions are approximate 😉

Here’s the original version in Italian: Zuppa di cannocchie o cicale di mare

Do you know what does it means in Italian “in bianco“? Click here to find out more!