Chef Chris Cosentino Shares his Nonna's Recipe for Trippa Napoletana (2024)

There is one dish in particular on the menu atChef Chris Cosentino’s restaurant co*ckscombthat the chef holds near and dear to his heart: hisgrandmother Rosalie's trippa napoletana. While he wasn’t fond of tripe as a kid, he learned to appreciate it as a delicacy over the years.

Tripe was originally a common ingredient in many immigrant households and is prepared in cuisines around the world. It was a cheap cut of meat known as the“fifth quarter”or‘quinto quarto’in butcher's terms, which was often left for the poorer customers after the prime cuts of meat were reserved for the upper classand clergy. In the 1950s, when so many immigrants couldn't afford to eat meat, they ate what was considered the worst cuts of meat, or the “offal” – tongues, oxtails, sweetbreads, and tripe because they were cheap, so they became the fundamental part of the immigrant’s diet. But now, tripe is embraced and appears on the menus of some of the most elegant restaurants in the country.

Chef Chris Cosentino Shares his Nonna's Recipe for Trippa Napoletana (1)

Typically, Italians claim their grandmother's dish is better than anyone else's, but we all likely love the taste of our family's version – not just because of how it's prepared, but because of the experience of the cooking process and ultimately the memories and feelings that surroundyou every time you eat it. Cosentino says Grandma Rosalie's version was prepared beautifully with red wine, tomatoes, and herbs: "I make it just like she did – brick red and spicy,” he explains.

“From getting the right tripe, to soaking it and rinsing it, then the initial cooking followed by the second one. It's all about layering the flavors and making it tender, all the while not trying to disrespect the tradition of it."

Chef Cosentino was gracious enough to share Grandma Rosalie's tripe recipe with us. And if he was daring enough to servethis variety of “offal”to the judges on a national hit reality TV show, ultimately winning him the title for Season 4 ofTop Chef Masters, then you too can serve it to your loved ones. As his late dear friend Anthony Bourdain described his food atco*ckscomb,it is "surprisingly simple and unsurprisingly delicious."

Chef Chris Cosentino Shares his Nonna's Recipe for Trippa Napoletana (2)

Chef Cosentino's Trippa Napoletana (ph Michael Harlan Turkell)

Grandma Rosalie's Trippa Napoletana by Chef Chris Cosentino

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs tripe cooked in broth, cut into 2" squares (See recipe below)
3 tablespoons Fra Diavolo marinade (See recipe below)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, sliced in half & julienned
1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
1/4 cup red wine
6 cups San Marzano tomatoes, milled
Orange zest, to taste
Red wine vinegar, to taste
1/4 cup mint leaves
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Serve with grilled bread

Method:

Coat the cooked (and cubed) tripe in the Fra Diavolo marinade. Let the meat marinate covered in the fridge overnight.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add EVOO, followed by the onions. Once soft, (about 2 mins), add the sliced garlic & tripe, sear to “bloom” the Fra Diavolo marinade for about 3 minutes. (Blooming releases the flavors & depth of the marinade, as it would in a curry.)

Deglaze the pan with red wine and reduce, about 2 mins.

Add the tomatoes & reduce until brick red, about 5 to 10 mins.

Adjust the sauce with fresh orange zest & a splash of red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. Then add torn mint leaves, toss to disperse & serve immediately in a bowl with grilled bread & a drizzle of EVOO.

Tripe Cooked in Broth Recipe

Ingredients:

5 lbs beef honeycomb tripe(the meat will shrink by half once cooked)
2 gallons water
4 cups mirepoix (equal amounts of roughly chopped carrot, celery & onion)
2 heads garlic, split
1 bunch of freshly-picked thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt
1 tbspfennel seeds
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbspchampagne vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
2 vanilla pods, split lengthwise

Method:

Rinse the tripe very thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clean over the meat & there is no detectable grit leftover.

Combine all ingredients for the tripe broth in a large, non-stick stockpot.

Add the tripe & bring the broth to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 3 hours or until the tripe is very tender.

Let the tripe cool in its broth overnight. Then remove the meat from the broth & rinse under running water.

Cut the tripe into squares of 2x2 inches. Set aside to use in the final recipe for Grandma Rosalie’s trippa napoletana.

Fra Diavolo MarinadeRecipe

Yields 2 cups

Ingredients:

3 serrano peppers
3 Red Fresno peppers
2 jalapeño peppers
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch of freshly-picked thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon smoked pimentón de vera picante
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest & juice of 1 orange

Method:

Remove the stems from the peppers, chop the bay leaves & thyme, and transfer all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Tips & tricks

*If not properly & thoroughly cleaned out, the tripe can carry a rancid sour taste. Fortunately, most markets or butchers will sell reliably cleaned & flavor-neutral tripe.

* You can buy tripe at local butcher shops or at local Asian grocery stores.

*Tripe varies widely in texture depending on the animal. You’ll want honeycomb tripe, which is pretty distinctive with its honeycomb-like pattern.

*Like tendon meat, cleaned tripe is a little bland on its own, but acts like a flavor sponge & welcomes texture.

*You will need a good half a day to slowly simmer the tripe.

Chef Chris Cosentino Shares his Nonna's Recipe for Trippa Napoletana (3)

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