What is tripe made of? Tripe is the edible stomach lining of an animal: usually the stomach of cow or sheep.
Beef Tripe is Most Common
Beef tripe (the stomachs of the cow) are most commonly used in recipes. There are three edible cow stomachs, each with a different texture:
Is Tripe Healthy?
Surprisingly, tripe is extremely nutritious! It is low in fat and high in protein. In ancient times, it was a main source of nutrition for poor Italians who couldn’t afford choicer cuts of meat.
Preparing tripe is not complicated—the complicated part may be finding it at a local butcher. Back in the day, people had to clean tripe at home, and that was a smelly process! These days, the tripe is usually cleaned commercially so you don’t have to do it. You can even find it in some supermarkets in countries where tripe is commonly eaten.
Some people say tripe still has a bit of a strange odor even after commercially cleaned. For this reason, many cooks boil the tripe for 15 minutes or so in aromatics before using it in the final dish—just to remove any last odor.
Who Eats Tripe?
Tripe is enjoyed in many parts of the world, including Italy! Trippa alla Romana is a famous Italian tripe recipe that uses beef tripe parts from all three edible stomachs of the cow.
This is the definitive Italian Tripe recipe for Trippa alla Romana. While tripe isn’t for everyone, even those who don’t like tripe usually like the sauce in this recipe! It has tomato, mint, white wine and pecorino cheese.
Tripe is definitely a ‘love it or hate it’ food. Probably many people who hate it don’t dislike the taste and texture per say, but dislike the idea of it.
Watch the Video Recipe!
Learn how to make Italian Tripe recipe with our video recipe, filmed in Italy:
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Tips for Cooking Tripe
Boil it for 15 minutes.
Even if the tripe you’ve purchased is already clean, we recommend boiling it in salt water with onion, carrot and celery for 15 minutes to remove any lingering odor.
Serve with bread!
Italian Tripe is traditionally served with bread for a fantastic scarpetta (sopping up the sauce).
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Italian Tripe Recipe – Trippa alla Romana
- 2.2 lb beef tripe cleaned
- 1 onion for pre-cooking the tripe
- 1 carrot for pre-cooking the tripe
- 1 rib celery for pre-cooking the tripe
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ carrot chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- handful fresh mint minced
- 4 tbsp pecorino romano cheese finely grated
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 tbsp olive oil or as needed
- fresh chili peppers to taste
- fine salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
Pre-Cook the Tripe
- Boil the tripe for 15 minutes in salted water with a whole onion, carrot and celery to remove the last of the odor. Drain and set aside.
Sauté the Tripe
- Coat the bottom of a skillet generously with olive oil. Sauté the chopped onion, carrot and celery over medium-low heat until the onions start to appear translucent.
- Add the tripe to the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat.
- Add a ½ cup of white wine. Stir, and cook until the wine has evaporated.
Make the Sauce
- Add crushed tomato and a 1 1/2 cups of water to the tripe.
- Bring the sauce to a boil. Add a handful of fresh mint and a pinch of salt.
- Cover and cook the tripe in the sauce over medium-low heat for 2 hours.
Finish with Pecorino Cheese
- After the two hours, turn off the heat and add about 4 Tbs of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Stir to melt the cheese. Feel free to top with more pecorino when you serve the dish.