Tripe Olivetana  

(“Trippa alla Olivetana" – "Trippa alivetana”) 


The church of Saint John of the Hermits is one of the most famous landmarks in Palermo. It was built in the Arabic-Norman style. It has single nave surmounted by five picturesque cupolas in vivid red color. The garden adjacent to the church is full of fragrant flowers and citrus blossoms. The small cloister, with a well or a cistern in the center, was part of the original monastery of the order of the Benedictine nuns of our Lady of Mt. Oliveto, who occupied this site to the end of the XI century. The nuns prepared the tripe called “Olivetana” with the few ingredients they had available: their creativity and skill resulted in this delicious dish still being prepared to present days.
There are many versions of tripe Olivetana, and many places in
Sicily claim the originality of this course, some bake it, some make into a pie, and even though they use the same ingredients adding boiled eggs instead of cooking the eggs with the tripe, gives a different finished product.
This is a popular recipe used in
Palermo. My family made “trippa alivetana” using this recipe, and in the same way we cooked tripe Olivetana at Joe’s of Avenue U, in Brooklyn, NY.


Serves 4 to 6  


·  4 lb. of par-cooked tripe  

·  2 bay leaves (laurel)  

·  2 cloves, whole  

·  skin of ½ lemon  

·  1 small eggplant, skin on, cut into strips 1 ½ X 1 inch  

·  Canola or peanuts oil to fry eggplant  

·  4 tablespoons of olive oil  

·  1 onion finely diced  

·  1 pinch or small envelope of saffron  

·  salt and pepper to taste  

·  2 eggs  

·  grated pecorino cheese to taste  

·  chopped parsley for garnish  


Cut the tripe in strips, about 1 ½ by ½ inch and place in a pot with an abundant amount of lightly salted water with the bay leaves, cloves, lemon skin and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes, taste for doneness, if it is not cooked to your liking continue cooking until tripe is tender.
Remove from pot using a slotted spoon, place in a colander to drain. Discard bay leaves, cloves and lemon skin.
Fry the eggplant and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over a low heat, add onions and when translucent (about 7 minutes), turn heat up to medium, add tripe and sauté for 5 minutes.
Dilute the saffron in ½ cup of water and add to pot. The cooking tripe should be soupy, if it is too dry add more water, taste for salt and pepper, simmer for a few minutes.
Beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of grated cheese and as the tripe is simmering rapidly blend in the eggs-cheese mixture and as soon as the eggs coagulate remove from the stove and serve.
Garnish each dish with some of the fried eggplant and freshly chopped parsley.
Offer extra cheese on the side, fresh bread, and a light young white wine.