Tuscany has an amazing culture for vegetable recipes, some of which quite unknown outside. The rich soil and maybe the need to be creative in times of hardship have made vegetable recipes abound.
This recipe uses celery stalks as it’s main ingredient. They are stuffed with a meat mixture and then cooked in a meat ragu. The meat ragu is a basic meat sauce like you would make for a lasagne, but keep it on the thin side. You can use ready made or make your own. Sometimes I only use tomato sauce because I can do with little meat and it’s also very good but the original recipe calls for meat sauce.
—Maria Teresa Jorge
In a bowl mix together the ground veal, mortadella, chicken livers. Add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, parsley, 2 eggs and mix well to obtain a smooth mixture. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
PREPARING THE CELERY STALKS:
Rinse stalks thoroughly in cold water and pat dry. Peel the back of the stalks using a vegetable peeler to remove the stringy portion. Cut in 3” pieces, choosing the lighter part.
STUFFING AND COOKING CELERY - FIRST PART:
Cook the celery stalks in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove and cool. Fill 1 celery stalk with meat mixture, put another celery stalk on top and press to adhere. Dip in egg and flour and fry in olive oil.
COOKING THE STUFFED CELERY: Put the fried stuffed celery stalks in a pan with the meat sauce and cook in a low heat for 30 minutes or until very tender.