Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Mantis shrimp (Squilla mantis) stew
( Zuppa di canocchie al sugo di pomodoro )

Authentic Italian recipe

Zuppa di canocchie or cicale (mantis shrimp stew) is a seafood dish we Italians make with our typical mantis shrimp species that lives in the Mediterranean Sea, especially along the coasts of Adriatic Sea: Squilla mantis. I learnt this recipe from my paternal grandmother who lived in Abruzzo, in Pescara a great city that is on the sea. The only variation is to have reduced fat. In fact my paternal grandmother had a can of oil in the scullery and she used the ladle for seasoning, I use the tablespoon ;))

difficulty: easy

time: preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 20-25 minutes
total: 55 minutes

calories: 241 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 600g (1 1/3 pound) fresh mantis shrimp (Squilla mantis) in the shell
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) leeks
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 400g (14 ounces) can chopped tomatoes
  • Home-made bread, sliced
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 20-25 minutes
total: 55 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 241 (kcal) 13 % - 1007 (kJ)
Protein: 21.3 (g) 43 % GDA
Total fat: 11.0 (g) 16 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 14.4 (g) 6 % GDA
Sugars: 11.6 (g) 13 % GDA

Download free PDF version (344 download).

Mantis shrimp stew recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare mantis shrimps. Cut all abdominal appendages with sharp scissors.
    Trim the end of claws and telson but be careful not to hurt with their spiny parts.
    Remove the parts of the dorsal shell protruding from the side with scissors.
    Wash under running water and drain.
  • - Clean leek and chop finely.
  • - Put olive oil, leek and bay leaf in a non-stick frying pan.
  • - Let all these ingredients fry on very low heat.
  • - Add Squilla mantis shrimps. Let crustaceans flavor, stirring with delicacy.
  • - Add tomatoes, season to taste with salt and cook for about 5 minutes.
    Cooking time depends on shrimp size. If they are big continue cooking for further 2 minutes.
  • - Just before turning off the stove add aromatic herbs too.

Just before serving

  • - Toast bread slices.
  • - Put them on the bottom of a soup plate.
  • - Cover them with your hot shrimp stew.
  • - Serve at once.



  • - You can add a garlic clove to olive oil and leek, if liked. Remove it before adding mantis shrimps.
  • - Remember Squilla mantis shrimps are better in winter when they have a red tube inside, called coral, made from eggs.

Menu planning

  • - You can make a very tasty chowder with these ingredients and prepare a full menu. In fact in Italy we are used to eat this choder as second course while we use its cooking juice to season spaghetti. Cook 160g - 5.6 ounces for two people.
    Dilute your cooking juice with some tablespoons of the boiling water in which you are cooking pasta, if necessary.
  • - Zuppa di cannocchie is a good choice for your daily menu if you are seafood lover.
    But you can also make it if you have guests provided that it is not a formal occasion.

Useful links for this recipe

    - Want other details about Squilla mantis and compare similar species you know? follow the link!
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt. There is always a combination of flavors that substitutes salt. Other no salt recipes ...

Healthy eating

  • - If you look at the nutrition facts, the first thing you note is this is a low-calorie and low-fat recipe.
    It can be a convenient choice if you are on a diet or follow healthy eating.
    But be careful, there is no bread in the nutrition facts. In every bread portion (50g - 1 3/4 ounces) there are 145 kCal you have to add.
    The only problem of this recipe is its cholesterol content. In fact, shrimps aren't high in total fat but their cholesterol is 85mg per 100g of edible portion (300mg daily requirement). Then a short calculation of the total amount of cholesterol in the recipe leads to the value of 102mg which is not excessive provided that you're within our recommended dose of shrimp (300g per head).
    According to the nutritionists we should eat protein at dinner. The recommended calories for dinner are 500 - 600 for a person with an energy requirement of 2000 kCal per day to be divided into five daily micro meals.
    Choose pasta with vegetable sauce and fruit for lunch to have an healthy daily menu.
  • - The fiber content in this recipe is 4.2g (23g is the daily requirement). This is the reason why I suggest vegetable sauce to dress your pasta dish at lunch.
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80 to 85 calories per 100ml.


What's the right wine for " Mantis shrimp (Squilla mantis) stew "?

My husband Carlo and I suggest to pair Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (white wine from Marche - Italy) to this seafood chowder.