Having recently visited Trevi during their black celery and sausage sagra, I came home with three large bunches of black celery that I turned into a number of dishes, one being celery pesto. The celery in Trevi, called apium graveolous, is quite famous across Italy and is only grown on the outskirts of town. It has become such a specialty item that has now been designated as one of the 15 or so IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) products in Umbria. This basically means black celery can only be grown in this small designated area.
Although most folks may think that black celery is a somewhat obscure ingredient to use in a recipe, any celery would work in this pesto and by adding parsley you can duplicate the darker color and more intense flavor that the black celery brings. In Trevi, many of the dishes served during this time include both black celery and sausages so I decided since I had already made my black celery pesto, I would simply combine it with sauteed sausages for a quick and easy pasta sauce. The flavor of the pesto was delicious with the sausages, and I now wish I had bought more celery to make a larger batch of the pesto for my freezer. The quantities for this pasta can be increased or decreased quite easily. For every two portions of pasta simply use 3 sausage links and 1 1/2 cups of the celery pesto.
Deborah Mele 2011
Trevi Black Celery Pesto & Sausage Pasta
Any celery would work in this pesto and by adding parsley you can duplicate the darker color and more intense flavor that the black celery from Trevi brings.
- 3 CupsBlack Celery Pesto
- 6 Sausage Links, Meat Removed From the Casings
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
- Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- 1 Pound Of Pasta Of Your Choice
- Grated Pecorino Cheese
- Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- Cook the sausage meat in a frying pan with the olive oil, using two forks to break up the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
- Cook until light brown and cooked through.
- Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or two.
- Cook the pasta until it is “al dente“, then drain, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.
- Return the pasta to the pot along with the celery pesto, sausage and garlic, and red pepper flakes if using.
- Toss well and cook until piping hot and the pasta is coated with the pesto mixture adding a little of the pasta water if the mixture seems dry.
- Serve immediately topped with a good sprinkling of grated cheese.