Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Celery Alla Parmigiana & Molo 8 Lambrusco Mantovano

By: The Food Hunter

There is no doubt in my mind that I could easily move to the Umbrian region of Italy and never look back. The people are friendly, the lifestyle is laid back and the food is out of this world. Don't get me wrong, the food is fabulous everywhere in Italy but I tend to favor the recipes from Umbria.

Take for example Celery Parmigiana, when the whole rest of the world is doing eggplant and chicken the folks in Umbria are using celery to make this well-known dish. Initially it might sound odd, but I urge you to give this recipe a try.

Wine recommendation:

Try it with Molo 8 Lambrusco Mantovano DOC. The sparkling red Lambrusco is another great Italian food-friendly wine, this one coming from the area of Mantova, in the Lombardy region. The bouquet is persistent and fragrant with hints of black cherries and wild berries. On the palate the wine is aromatic, fruity and pleasantly sweet.

Celery Alla Parmigiana 

1-2 large bunches of celery
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
3 pieces of bacon, diced (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small can of chopped tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375.

Trim the base of the celery with a sharp knife and peel the stalks, with a vegetable peeler to get rid of the outer layer. Cut the celery lengthways into quarters, then cut each one in half.

Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and bacon, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the celery and cook with the lid on until the celery is soft.

Heat another pan and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and a cup of water.  Cook the sauce over a medium heat for half an hour or so, until reduced and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a shallow baking dish and spoon a some tomato sauce on the bottom. Spread out the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish and top with about a third of the celery pieces. Cover with more tomato sauce, some thyme leaves and a good grating of Parmesan. Keep layering, being sure to end with the tomato sauce, lots of cheese and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and crisp on top.


  1. Interesting! Celery wouldn't be my first guess for it but I bet it's still super tasty!

  2. Wow, I've never even considered a side dish like this! Thank you for the creative idea!

  3. Woah...NEVER would have thought to use celery like's so intriguing I'm gonna have to try it!

  4. I love the many amazing dishes from Italian cuisine. I love 'peasant food' and this fits the bill.. Easy.. Everyday ingredients. Somehow magically transformed. Thanks for sharing. I've never eaten it in Umbria but will pin for later and make it soon!