Morzello is a traditional Catanzaresi dish that is served in many local restaurants throughout the area but the best, I’ve heard, is when it is homemade.
According to legend, Morzello, or morzeddhu in dialect, was created when an impoverished mother, widowed and alone, was forced to accept odd jobs to support her hungry children. On Christmas Eve, she was asked to clean a slaughterhouse and dispose of the wastes in the nearby Fiumarella.
Worried about what she would serve her hungry children for Christmas dinner the following day, she saved the disposed meat, cleaned it and prepared a meat soup. And morzello was born …
The Internet is desperately lacking for an English-language recipe for Catanzaro’s most famous dish. So without further fanfare, I present to you …
Morzeddhu alla Catanzarisi
>> 1 pound tripe
>> 1 pound (total) spleen, lung and esophagus
>> 4 cups tomato sauce
>> 1 cup water
>> 1/2 sliced red onion
>> 2-3 fresh peppers
>> 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
>> 3 bay leaves
>> Dash of salt and oregano
>> Olive oil
>> 1 glass of red wine
1. Wash and slice the tripe and cube the meat.
2. Boil the meat (spleen, lung, esophagus).
3. After 15 minutes add the tripe and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
4. Add olive oil, onion, bay leaves, oregano and one fresh pepper.
5. Cook and let the water evaporate.
6. Add tomato sauce, bouillon cubes and just enough hot water to cover the meat.
7. Cook for one hour then add more fresh pepper and wine.
8. Continue adding hot water as needed, for 30 minutes.
9. At the end add salt, oregano, a dash of olive oil and more pepper.
10. Serve with pita bread.