We have already noticed that in Tuscany we love offal and entrails, parts of animals less noble, but not less flavourful at all: chicken liver crostini, spleen crostini, pork liver, buristo, paracore, Florentine abomasum tripe and tripe!
Tripe is made with the first three chambers of cow’s stomach: rumen, reticulum and omasum: they’re not different in flavour, they only differ in their aspect, since they can be flat or honeycomb. Tripe is a typical dish of many Italian regions, the one I’m going to tell you is how my grandad Remigio used to cook it, according to the Florentine style.
When I was a child I was ssceptical about tripe: when you first see it, it doesn’t seem very tasty, especially if you’re young and a little picky! but when you taste it… no fear anymore! It’s tender, tasteful, with a smooth and typical flavour. You do need half a kilo of Tuscan bread to soak into the sauce!
- 800 g tripe pre-cooked
- 500 g ripe tomatoes or 500 ml tomato sauce
- 1 carrot
- 1 red onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 sprig parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Rinse the tripe under running water, drain it and cut it into thin slices.
Thinly chop the carrot, the celery, the onion and the parsley and sauté in a large pot with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. When it gets golden and soft, add the tripe slices and stir to enhance the flavour for a few minutes.
In the meantime, peel the ripe tomatoes, chop and purée them to have a smooth tomato sauce, water down with a cup of water and pour it into the pan over the tripe. Season with salt and pepper and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, paying attention not to let it dry out.
The liquid amount will depend on the kind of tomato you chose. So, at the end of cooking, if the tripe is not yet cooked through, add some more water. If it is too watery instead, let it cook without lid for a few more minutes.
At last, the tripe should have a nice thick tomato sauce to eat with tons of Tuscan bread. Before eating, sprinkle with a large spoonful of grated Parmigiano.
At last, tripe should have a nice liquid tomato sauce, to eat with tons of Tuscan bread. Before to eat it, sprinkle with a large spoonful of grated parmesan, set aside for five minutes and then serve it warm.
These ingredients are for 4 people, but on Saturday I had it with my mum and we finished it, since we are the only ones to love it in my family. Tripe is a low-cal food, luckily: it contains 5% of fat only!