Tubettinini with Celery Sauce:
Cut the celery the same size as the pasta to give the dish a uniform look. Tomato or red pepper makes a delicious addition, but the version here is pure celery. Serves four to six.
2 bunches celery (about 1 ¾ lb. Each)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or to taste
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. Chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp. Dried red pepper flakes or to taste
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Remove the tough outer celery ribs and reserve for another use. Rinse the hearts well and dry them. Chop the celery leaves and wrap them in a moist paper towel. Chop the inner ribs approximately the same size as the pasta. You should have about 3 ¾ cups of chopped celery.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the scallions and celery until tender but still firm, about 10 min. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 or 2 min. longer. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain but do not rinse. In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, celery sauce, chopped celery leaves, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Toss well and serve immediately.