La Pajata

Written by Katie Parla on May 29, 2009


La pajata, the cooked intestines of unweaned calves, is one of the cornerstones of Rome’s quinto quarto (organ meat) tradition. Though it has been steadily disappearing from Roman menus over the years, it is still proudly served in restaurants like Checchino dal 1887 and Augustarello, both in Testaccio, where the quinto quarto has managed to hold its ground. It is mainly is served in one of two ways: cooked in tomato sauce and served over rigatoni or simply grilled. In both preparations, combining the enzymes in the intestines with heat causes the mother’s milk inside the casing to curdle, producing a creamy, ricotta-like cheese within.

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