A couple of weeks ago my girlfriends and I enjoyed an amazing dinner at Porzia, a neighbourhood Italian restaurant in Parkdale. With seven of us at the table, we ordered the whole menu without hesitation. In between catching up on latest news and plenty of giggles, we heartily enjoyed the parade of comforting rustic Italian dishes.
One highlight of the evening was Trippa alla Parmigiana, a warming stew of tripe, house-made sausage, and chickpea served with a fried farm egg. This is Porzia’s signature dish and much has been written about it in local media. Even the recipe is available online! As soon as we got home, a few of us already started planning to recreate this tripe stew in our own kitchen.
Tripe is not easily found in mainstream supermarket these days. Luckily, it is still a staple in Cantonese and Vietnamese cooking so a well-stocked Asian grocer probably carries tripe. Not just any tripe, but those that have been soaked for hours to rid of that distinctive offal aroma! This small convenience means the tripe is ready to cook as soon I trimmed away the excess fat.
This is my streamlined version of trippa alla parmigiana, inspired by the delicious (and labour-intensive) dish at Porzia. The nuggets of tripe soak up all the flavour from the cooking liquid like sponge. The pieces of Italian sausage and chickpeas impart hearty tastes. The crowning glory is stirring the runny golden egg yolk into the meat sauce for an extra doe of richness. I even simplified the original’s version of fried egg to soft boiled egg. Same runny egg yolk effect, so much easier to make!
Remember that I said I was not the only one who wanted to recreate this tripe stew at home? Check out what my friend boneats made!
Trippa alla Parmigiana
inspired by Porzia
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs of celery, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 stalks of sage, finely chopped
- 3 links of mild Italian sausage, casing removed
- 350g pre-processed* honeycomb tripe, trimmed of fat and cut to 2-inch pieces
- 100mL dry white wine
- 100mL chopped tomatoes
- 15oz can cooked chickpea, rinsed and drained
- 4 large eggs
- Parmesan cheese
note: pre-processed tripe is available at Asian grocers. They have already been soaked and rinsed so they are ready-to-cook.
- Heat a 3-quart heavy bottom sauce pan such as Dutch oven with olive oil under medium high heat.
- Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant. Add carrots and celery to cook until vegetable softened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in tomato paste and sage. Sauté until brick red.
- Crumble in Italian sausage and break into pieces about the size of marbles. Cook until brown.
- Add tripe and sauté for about a minute to soak in flavour. Deglaze with white wine and cook off some alcohol, about 2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato and enough water to barely cover the stew. Bring to boil and lower the heat to simmer for 60 to 90 minutes until tripe pieces are soft and not bouncy.
- Add drained chickpeas and simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Just before serving, prepare soft boiled eggs. Bring 1 quart of water to rolling boil. Gently lower cold eggs into boiling water with metal spoon. Set the timer to boil for 6 minutes. Immediately drain the eggs under cold running water to stop cooking. Peel.
- To serve, ladle a scoop of tripe stew in a shallow plate and top with a soft boiled egg. Grate parmesan cheese until the dish is generously covered with a blanket of cheese. Serve immediately.