Spaghetti con Trippa e Pancetta
Region: Italy, Lazio
Category: Pasta with Variety Meats
This is a simple Roman dish requiring pre-cooked omasum beef or veal tripe. It must be special ordered from a good butcher, although I have found it sold in Korean and Chinese markets with their meat departments. The omasum, or omaso in Italian, is the third stomach of a cud-chewing animal. It is thin and fragile looking and is, I believe, the finest of the four tripes available, namely, the first stomach called paunch or rumen, the second stomach called honeycomb, the third called omasum, manyplies, or psalterium and the fourth or true stomach called absomasum or reed. In Italian the four stomachs are called rumine, reticolo, omaso, and ricciolino. This recipe will work only with omasum tripe. It is a special dish typical of working class Roman osterie.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 4 hours in all
1 1/4 pound omasum tripe
6 ounces pancetta, sliced into thin squares or strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Place the omasum tripe in cold water and bring to a boil over high heat, salt lightly, and boil for 3 hours, replenishing the water when necessary. Remove and let cool then slice into thin strips.
2. In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over low heat in the olive oil until beginning to get crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the tripe and continue cooking until it is sticking to the skillet quite a bit, about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for every pound of pasta, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat, salt abundantly with up to 1/2 cup of salt, then add the pasta in handfuls. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn?t stick together, until al dente.
4. While the pasta is cooking add the garlic to the skillet and cook 2 minutes, then add the parsley and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add a ladleful of pasta cooking water to the skillet and continue cooking until the pasta is done.
5. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the tripe and toss several times so it is well mixed. Add half the Parmesan cheese and toss again. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese and toss then serve immediately.