The name Mantis Shrimp is actually a misnomer, because despite their appearance the animals aren't shrimps -- Alan Davidson lumps them together with crabs. Truth be told, they don't resemble crabs either, but rather their namesake, the mantis, and are equally ferocious predators. What look like eyes on the mantis shrimp's carapace are spots on its tail, and serve to make it look like a possibly dangerous fish to other animals that might prey upon it.
Mantis shrimp are quite common in the Adriatic, but are also caught in other parts of the world, for example the Chesapeake Bay and all around Australia. Got some? Why not make this antipasto from Basilicata:
Canocchie alla Pezza, or Mantis Shrimp Pezza Style
To serve 4:
16 Mantis shrimp, about 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) in all
A small clove of garlic, minced
A small bunch parsley
A lemon (optional)
Salt to taste
Lightly oil a deep skillet large enough to contain all the shrimp, and lay them flat in it with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle a little water over the shrimp, cover the skillet with a wet cloth, and cook over very high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Serve the shrimp at once, garnished with sprigs of parsley and, if you like, lemon wedges.
Mantis Shrimp on About:
Seafood Pasta with Ouzo.
How to Select Fresh Fish