Offal is an important aspect of Roman cuisine, and it crops up in many different recipes. It is important to wash the kidneys carefully in several changes of cold water before using, in order to remove any trace of ammonia flavour.
500g/1 ¼lbcalf’s kidneys, trimmed
500g/1 ¼lbripe tomatoes
15ml/1tbsplard/white cooking fat
1 large onion, finely sliced
45ml/3tbspdry red wine
sea salt and ground black pepper
30ml/2tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Slice the kidneys and put them into a pan over a low heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes to remove the bitter water.
Remove the kidneys and transfer to a sieve or strainer set over the sink. Leave to drain for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then tip them into a strainer and refresh in cold water. Peel away the skins and remove the seeds. Chop them roughly.
In a large pan, melt the lard or fat and gently fry the onion in it for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes start to fall apart.
Add the kidneys and stir together, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute to evaporate the alcohol. Add salt and pepper and stir again.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.