The most important ingredient of this traditional winter dish from the Marche is the ham bone, which imparts a delicious flavour. It is a dish from the province of Ancona and varies slightly from one village to another. The final result is a rich, rib-sticking concoction which is served with big slabs of coarse country-style bread, lightly toasted, then sprinkled with olive oil. The best kind of tripe is calf’s, although lamb’s tripe can be used.
Wash the tripe in several waters, trimming off loose pieces. Scald it by pouring boiling water over it. Put it in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes. Drain, wash again, then cut into cubes.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, put the chopped onion, garlic, carrot celery, dried marjoram, lemon peel and pork belly and fry together slowly until the vegetables are soft. Add the tripe and the ham bone and cover with water. Stir in the tomato paste and salt to taste and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water as required. Serve with plenty of bread and grated Parmesan cheese.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.