Tasty and nutritious, Piacenza tripe requires fairly simple preparation, without any special difficulties. It just takes a while, but it’s worth it. It is actually a dish with complex and full flavors, unmistakably reminiscent of the peasant world from which it comes.
Tripe is still a very popular dish in Italy, although in sharp decline compared to the past, when it was usually consumed one or more times a week. It is certainly no coincidence that tripe recipes continue to be the meat recipes with the greatest number of varieties. Not every region, but practically every province, has its own traditional tripe recipe, with endless versions from the Alps to Sicily. In Ragusa, for example, tripe is cooked with eggplant, almonds, walnuts and cinnamon.
Piacenza tripe are one of the most famous recipes, essential on the menus of typical Piacenza restaurants. But not only. Throughout Lombardy, for example (especially in Milan), we have frequently encountered on menus “Milanese tripe” that later turned out to be Piacenza tripe.
The traditional recipe always includes White beans. Which however, in practice, are sometimes cannellini beans, sometimes Spanish white, sometimes others. This is not irrelevant because the cooking times for beans can be very different from each other. Tender cannellini beans, for example, require between 40 and 50 minutes, while white Spanish beans take more than 2 hours. Of course, it is possible to simplify everything by using cannellini beans that are sold already cooked, but in this case the dish would really suffer. Piacenza tripe requires dried beans to recover or at least fresh, not cooked.
Among the dishes that we had the opportunity to taste in the restaurants of Piacenza we also highlighted one difference in the use of tomatoes. This is also an always present ingredient, but sometimes with two tablespoons of prepared sauce, other times with a generous dose of peeled tomatoes. The 300 g indicated in our doses are those created by a great master, such as Gualtiero Marchesi. Who also advised? don’t put cheese in this recipewhile on the other hand there are many who prefer to add it.
The tripe you see in the photo are those sold already clean and pre-cooked. Be careful with this point, because you can still find raw tripe “cleaned” by hand. Without a doubt excellent and sought after by some fans, but it requires prior precautions – before moving on to the recipe itself – hardly compatible with current domestic needs. Check with your butcher that the tripe you are buying do not require 4 hours of pre-cooking in acidic water, in addition to the 2 and a half hours of cooking in the recipe!!
keep in mind: Piacenza tripe are one of those dishes that if left over are not only good, but even better. Reheated and brought to the table the next day it is even better.
- 800 g of pre-cooked and cleaned tripe
- 120 g dried white beans
- 50 g lard or bacon
- 30 grams of butter
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ stick of celery
- 1 clean carrot
- 300 g peeled tomato pulp
- dry white wine
- Soak the beans for at least 12 hours, rinse them, place them in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until almost cooked: times vary greatly – from 50 to 120 minutes – depending on the variety of beans, their age and soaking time. At this point, salt the water and complete the cooking for the other 10 minutes necessary so that the beans are cooked but still firm. Drain them without throwing away the cooking water.
- Rinse the tripe for a long time under cold running water, then boil it for about 20 minutes (just enough to soften it a little) in plenty of salted water along with the onion cut in half, the carrot and celery cut into pieces and 2 leaves. of laurel. Drain it and cut it into strips.
- Finely chop the butter and garlic (or, better, crush them together) and let them brown for a few minutes over low heat in a pan with the butter. Add the onion, carrot and celery taken out of the tripe cooking water and chopped very finely. Also add 3 sage leaves and cook for 5 minutes.
- Moisten the vegetables with half a glass of wine and when almost everything is liquefied, add the tomato pulp and a generous amount of ground pepper. Pour the tripe strips into the saucepan, mix carefully, season with salt, bring back to the boil and then leave over a low heat with the lid on until the tripe are completely cooked. Stir from time to time and if necessary add a little of the bean cooking water.
- Finally add the beans, mix and leave on the heat for another 5-6 minutes. Piacenza tripe should be served piping hot.