Abbuticchio is a roulade of ovine tripe, made from lamb or mutton, stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, prosciutto or diced pancetta and sheep’s cheese. Everything is flavoured with ground spices and seasoned with tomato sauce and pecorino. The flavour is very particular and is characterised by the prevalent aroma of sheep meat.
The tripe used to prepare this dish is carefully and meticulous washed. It is then boiled in water and salt until it is completely cooked. Once it cools down, the tripe is cut to form many square “sheets” of about 10 to 15 centimetres, then stuffed with a quarter of a hard-boiled egg, diced prosciutto or pancetta, a square of pecorino cheese, garlic, basil, parsley, rosemary and chilli. The ingredients are wrapped with lamb guts (tripe) and tied to form a roll. The name abbuticchio is derived from the term “abbutinare”, which in the dialect of Ciociaria means “to wrap”. Once the preparation is complete, the rolls are slowly cooked in water for about two hours. Once the liquid has completely evaporated, the cooking process continues by adding a tasty tomato sauce. The dish is served hot with a sprinkle of grated pecorino.
Abbuticchio is a product that is traditionally linked to transhumance, a typical practice of the Torrice area, in the province of Frosinone, and it could become a selling point to attract tourists and a tool that could be used to spread the local history and culture. Abbuticchio, in fact, represents a gastronomic rarity, its recipe has been handed down through the generations. The first documented evidence dates back to the early twentieth century, although it most likely has much older origins. According to a legend, in 1555, it was the aroma and goodness of this dish that “appeased Cardinal Mendoza, papal legate, who was never kind to rebel cities”.
The recipe was kept during the 1900s by Mrs. Letizia Colagiacomo, who had learned how to prepare the famous roulade from her mother-in-law. These have always been sold in the family’s butcher shop. Today, to taste abbuticchio you have to go to an old trattoria in Torrice, which has been open since 1906, it is the only place that prepares them every day by following the traditional recipe.