Vico Casana and the scent of tripe

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It’s not a trip for everyone, that which I made today, in the alleyways of Genoa. Vegetarians and the diet obsessed would be horrified, but for those who want authentic tastes, this means a date with ‘rustic’ cooking with a truly evocative name: tripe.

Cheap and tasty like never before, this old Ligurian dish is back at centre stage.

Also because dieticians have confirmed that, despite a name evoking fat and calories, tripe can be the ideal basis for dishes which are flavour-filled and light at the same time.

tripperia vico casana genova trippaCrossing the entrance of number 3 rosso, Vico Casana, is like diving into the past.

It’s here that you have been able to find, for two-hundred years, the oldest tripery in Italy. In the heart of the historical centre, a few metres from Via Luccoli, ‘La Casana’ is one of the most famous Genoese shops. This small business, founded by the Cavagnaro family two centuries ago and today managed by Gabriella Colombo and her husband Francesco Pisani, is a piece of history.

The vault of the Vico Casana tripery dates back to the 16th century, while the furniture, kitchen, boiler and walls date back to the Risorgimento. It was in those years that great historical figures stopped by at the tripery: Mazzini, Verdi and then Puccini were frequent customers.

tripperia vico casana genova trippaTripe, cooked in a hundred different ways, has always been a dish appreciated by the Genoese: in the post – second world war period there were almost as many triperies in the city as butchers.

After buying the key ingredient and strolling in the caroggi, the typical Genoese alleyways (a sight not to be missed), the advice is to follow the most famous recipe: ‘Trippe Accomodate’.

Ingredients for four people: 1 kilo of mixed tripe, 50 grams of pancetta, half a kilo of potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 2 sticks of celery, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, rosemary, 20 grams of pine nuts, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree, 1 glass of white wine, 2 ladles of stock, salt, pepper and 1 glass of extra-virgin olive oil.

tripperia vico casana genova trippaPreparation does not require a chef’s certificate. Prepare a mixture of onion, celery, carrot and pancetta and slowly fry it.

Add the tripe and heat over a high flame. As soon as it is golden add the tomato puree with crushed rosemary, garlic and pine nuts.

Soak in white wine, leave it to evaporate and add salt and pepper. Soak in stock and finish it off with potatoes chopped in pieces; cook covered for around an hour and then…YUM!

Me and Liguria: a beautiful story. I like to see it, travel through it in a rush or…

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