Roman style Tripe Trippa alla Romana Recipe
Trippa alla romana, or Roman style tripe, is perhaps the best-loved recipe of real Roman cuisine. The offal-loving Romans never miss the chance to eat this lip-smacking dish of tripe cooked with tomato sauce and served with a generous coat of grated parmesan and the aromatic touch of local wild mint. In the video below, Foodie Sisters in Italy show you how to make this traditional recipe the Roman way.
Rome is famous for its historic quinto quarto cuisine; offal dishes which became popular due to vast employment at the city’s slaughterhouse at the turn of the twentieth century, where workers were paid with off-cuts of meat. Tripe was a nutritious, tasty ingredient that, along with oxtail, intestines, and sweetbreads, became widely consumed by the working classes.
A century later the Romans still love their tripe, with households regularly making it for a family meal and restaurants often including it on their menu. The most common and traditional way to prepare it is alla romana; slowly boiled in a tomato sauce and served topped with parmesan or pecorino cheese and a dusting of mentuccia, a type of wild mint (sometimes known as ‘lesser calamint’ in English).
The recipe is very simple, especially if you buy pre-boiled tripe which will save a lot of time. It is important to boil the tripe for a long time to ensure that the texture is soft and tender rather than rubbery or chewy, and the sauce should cook down until it is thick, sweet, and begging to be mopped up with plenty of bread. Be generous with the grated parmesan and don’t forget the mint to add a hint of freshness.
Trippa alla Romana
Roman mint leaves
If you are using raw tripe you will need to boil it first. Wash the tripe well, cut it into pieces and place in a saucepan of cold water with a pinch of salt, an onion, a stick of celery and a carrot. Bring to the boil and leave to cook for about 5 hours.
If you have pre-cooked tripe you can start to make the recipe straight away. First, cut the tripe into strips about a finger-width thick. Put the tomato sauce in a large saucepan and add the strips of tripe, then cook on a gentle boil for about 1hour 30 minutes.
Taste and add a touch of salt and pepper if needed. Serve the tripe in the sauce sprinkled with chopped Roman mint leaves and plenty of grated parmesan.