In Rome, tripe was traditionally eaten on Saturdays, but these days you can find it every day on a traditional trattoria menu.
The dish is made with thin, precooked strips of tripe slowly cooked with tomatoes, onions, and mint and then topped with a generous dusting of sharp and salty Pecorino Romano.
- 5 quarts cold water
- 2 1/2 pounds honeycomb beef tripe
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounces pancetta bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or to taste
- Combine water, tripe, vinegar, salt, vanilla, and bay leaf in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that accumulates. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Transfer tripe to a plate and set aside to cool. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and onion; cook and stir until pancetta is browned and onion is translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir garlic into pancetta mixture; cook and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Stir marinara sauce, 1 cup reserved tripe liquid, and red pepper flakes into the pancetta mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Cut tripe into 1-inch cubes and add to marinara-pancetta sauce; stir to combine. If needed, add 1 cup of the reserved tripe liquid. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Mix garbanzo beans and mint into the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.