Rigatoni con la pajata has its origins in traditional Roman cuisine and in particular originated in the historic Testaccio district, where the slaughterhouse was located.
The scortichini, or workers at the Testaccio slaughterhouse, at the end of the day would take away from work the entrails, a poor but substantial product due to the presence of chimo, or the milky residue of the intestine of the suckling calf, which gives pajata its classic strong and intense flavor.
Used as a base for making sauce, pagliata (this is its Italianized name) gave rise to one of the most Roman recipes there is.
To make the best rigatoni con la pajata, pajata must come from a dairy calf.
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 14 oz of veal intestines
- 1 cup of white wine
- 3 cups of tomato sauce
- oregano to taste
- 1 cup of rigatoni pasta
- Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Veal intestines come in a long strip.
Cut the intestine into pieces about 8 inches long.
With a piece of kitchen twine, tie one end of the intestine tightly and the other in a loop.
This will make several rings of intestines to help retain the milk.
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery.
Heat a medium-sized pot and add the olive oil.
Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook while stirring for a few minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the innards and cook for a few minutes.
Add the wine, oregano, passata and a splash of water, season with salt and bring to a boil.
Cover with a lid.
Reduce to low heat and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the sauce has reduced and the intestines are tender.
Before serving, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the rigatoni and cook the pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, remove the string from each ring of cooked intestine.
Keep the intestine as is or slice it into smaller pieces.
Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cooked rigatoni into the sauce and combine.
If necessary, add a splash of water.
Distribute to plates and serve with grated pecorino cheese.
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