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 this tasty celery and sausage pasta. 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, and any celery would work in this recipe. By adding in some parsley you can duplicate the darker color and more intense flavor that the black celery has. In Trevi, many of the dishes served during this time include both black celery and sausages so I decided to combine both in this quick and easy creamy pasta dish. The flavor of the celery was delicious with the sausages. The quantities for this pasta can be increased or decreased quite easily. This is a great option for busy weeknights as it is one of those pasta dishes that can be completed and on the table in thirty minutes. Any type of pasta works well with this sauce as the added cream helps the sauce adhere to the pasta. I used a whole grain linguine in the photos but even a short variety of pasta such as rotini or fusilli would work just as well. If you want to speed things up, you can chop the celery in your food processor. Just use the pulse function, and stop once the celery is finely chopped. I like to serve this pasta with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano cheese as it has a stronger flavor than Parmesan.
Deborah Mele 2018
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Sausage Links, Meat Removed From the Casings
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
- 3 Cups Chopped Celery, Both Stems & Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Pound Of Pasta Of Your Choice (See Notes Above)
- Grated Pecorino Romano 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, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and chopped celery, and cook an additional four to five minutes.
- Add the cream, salt, pepper, and chili flakes if using and cook until well mixed.
- 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 and sausage mixture.
- Toss well and cook until piping hot and the pasta is coated with the sauce adding enough of the pasta water to loosen the cream and coat the pasta well.
- Serve immediately topped with a good sprinkling of grated cheese.