1/2 lb tripe (beef, veal or sheep)
A pot of water to soak tripe in
A pot of water to cook tripe in
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, whole
2 green peppers, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Fresh parsley (optional)
Fresh basil (optional)
1 pepperoncino [hot dried red pepper], crushed (optional)
o Wash tripe very well.
o Place the tripe in a large bowl of water and keep overnight in the fridge.
o Strain water in the morning.
o Cut tripe into small pieces (about 1 1/2 inches by 1 inch).
o Bring a fresh pot of water to boil and cook the pieces of tripe for about 20 minutes.
o Meanwhile prepare vegetables.
o Heat up olive oil.
o Cook garlic until golden.
o Add chopped onions and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
o Add peppers, fry for about 4 minutes.
o Add mushrooms and keep frying for another 2 to 3 minutes.
o Add chopped tomatoes.
o Cook for about 10 minutes.
o Add tripe that was previously boiled in water for 20 minutes.
o Cook for another 20 minutes.
o Serve with Italian country bread.
As previously noted [in "Pasta with Tripe"] in the 1930s pasta with tripe was considered poor man's food as it was much cheaper than regular cuts of meat. Ironically, today in North America tripe is very expensive. Still, I suspect, even if tripe were not expensive, few North Americans would hurry off and buy it, as most of us living in this part of the world, find the eating of inner organs of animals, especially their stomachs and intestines, somewhat repulsive. Possibly, the vegetarian movement has had a profound effect on meat-eaters (I, being one of them). The general consensus among meat-eaters seems to be that it's O.K. for civilized folks to eat the flesh of an animal, but anything else is barbaric, if not downright taboo. I suppose this is an exercise in self-delusion and a very convenient one, as few, if any of us (except for vegetarians, of course) would willingly give up hot dogs and hamburgers forever and ever. In any case, for those who are not squeamish and like their sweetmeats any which way, this recipe is for them..... At the turn of the last century most home cooks in Molise would probably have used sheep stomach for this recipe as there were more sheep around than cows. Nowadays, North Americans of Italian origin, generally prefer beef tripe as it is "curlier" (looks prettier) and is less slimy than veal or sheep stomach....Photo: Mary Melfi.