Trippa alla Romana is a very ancient dish of the typical Roman cuisine which is traditionally eaten on Saturday lunch in many trattorias in Trastevere and Testaccio districts.
Like the tail, the coratella, the pajata and other offal, the tripe is a fifth quarter, the least valuable part of the animal. In ancient times, it was protein food for the lower classes and, above all, for the slaughterhouse workers, who were partially paid with scraps of butchery.
Trippa alla romana has been celebrated by many famous people, such as the poet G. G. Belli and the actress Elena Fabrizi, known as "Sora Lella" and, over the years, it turned from poor into a valued food.
Although it comes from the bovine stomach, it is a food rich in protein but low in fat. The Roman tradition requires fresh ingredients, two of which are exceptional: pecorino romano and wild mint.
Here is the recipe by Gambero Rosso
Ingredients (doses for 4 people)
About 1 kg of tripe;
2 thick slices of Guanciale (Typical Hog Jowl);
400 g of peeled tomatoes;
1 celery stick;
1 clove of garlic;
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil;
Grated pecorino romano;
Salt and pepper
Usually, tripe on the market is purchased already boiled. The washing and boiling method affect its flavour. It is preferable to buy a grey or dark one because products sometimes used to clean it, make it very white but tasteless.
In this case, buy the tripe without letting it slice, rinse it and put it to boil in abundant boiling salted water with a sliced carrot, a piece of chopped celery, an onion and a bunch of parsley.
Let the boil resume, then lower the flame to the minimum and continue cooking for about three-quarters of an hour. Leave it to cool and in the meantime, prepare a mixture with the guanciale, onion, carrot, celery, and the clove of garlic.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and let all dry gently, stirring often. Slice the tripe into strips and pour it into the pan when the "soffritto" (mix of guanciale, onion, carrot, celery, and the clove of garlic) begins to brown. Cook for a few minutes, stirring then add the chopped peeled tomatoes, salt and pepper and continue cooking for about an hour.
During this time, mix often and, when necessary, add a ladle of broth or hot water, keeping in mind that at the end the tripe must be immersed in an abundant sauce.
When cooked, pour the tripe into the serving dish and complete it with plenty of grated pecorino cheese and a spoonful of chopped mint leaves.
Photo credits: Gambero Rosso Official Website