A load of tripe: Lampredotto recipes

A load of tripe: Lampredotto recipes

Love it or hate it, it's a Florentine institution and worth knowing how to make for yourself.

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Thu 22 Feb 2024 10:16 AM

If I close my eyes I can still see myself in piazza Beccaria, in the Firenze of many years ago, within the courtyard of the once Cinema Cristallo building, exactly in front of the swimming pool entrance where I used to go for lessons. I was there waiting for one of my parents to pick me up, but mostly to bring me something to eat, because I was always hungry after an hour of swimming.

If I close my eyes, I can still remember one of the boys that took swimming lessons with me, his mother and the sandwich she brought him that afternoon. “Here’s your sandwich,” she said, and I was drooling, wondering what it would be. I envied him because his mother was already there, with a sandwich, while my mother was still on her way. My mouth was watering. Then the boy unwrapped the sandwich, and shouted, “Awesome! Lampredotto!”, and I, just like every child who hates what he hasn’t tried yet, felt totally disappointed. I was about to eat his sandwich with my eyes, but that was followed by a sense that I had just avoided danger. I was feeling lucky that I didn’t have a mother who bothered her kids with such disgusting food as lampredotto.

What a fool I was! Years later, I came to find out how delicious lampredotto is and how lucky I am to have been born and raised in Firenze, the undisputed capital of this tripe specialty.

The old Cinema Cristallo
Trippaia Maria in via dei Macci

Lampredotto + leeks

Serves 4

500g lampredotto

4 tomatoes

3 leeks

1 shallot

1 stalk of celery

1 carrot

1 onion

1 glass of red wine

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt + pepper 

Method

Boil the lampredotto in water with the carrot, onion, celery and one tomato. 

In the meantime, sauté a chopped shallot in olive oil with a bit of broth. When the shallot is wilted, add the leeks previously peeled and cut in slices. 

When leeks are ready, add the red wine and let it evaporate. Now you can add the three remaining tomatoes, peeled, and cook all for half an hour. After that, add the lampredotto, cut into strips, and finish cooking for 20 more minutes, adding hot broth as needed.

Lampredotto risotto

Serves 4

500g lampredotto

300g rice

2 tomatoes

2 stalks of celery

1 onion

1 carrot

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Butter

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt + pepper 

Method

Cook the lampredotto in boiling water with celery, onion, carrot and tomatoes for an hour. 

When an hour has passed, remove the pan from heat, drain the lampredotto well, cut it into thin strips and save the broth. In the meantime, in a non-stick skillet add some oil and butter, then sauté the onion. Add the rice and stir, cooking gradually while adding the lampredotto broth.

Once cooked, add a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan and butter. Serve with some freshly ground black pepper and more cheese.


This excerpt was taken from Indro Neri’s The Little Book of Lampredotto, whose easy-to-prepare recipes, historical accounts and self-guided walking tour are intended as a tribute to the culinary speciality as well as a testament to the tripe seller. The book is available for sale at the Paperback Exchange (via dell’Oche 4) or online.

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