Craving a rich, decadent ragu, but cutting out unnecessary carbs? This is the recipe for you. This dish is luxurious and rich, comes together in about an hour, and feels like it took days to cook. It’s meaty, hearty, and paleo friendly. It even features one of my more favorite braised vegetables, that unsung hero of the kitchen, celery. Never had cooked celery? You’re missing out. Cooked celery goes all slumpy and soft, while keeping a slight fresh taste that just speaks of crisp spring days. Yum.
Braised Celery & Sausage Ragu (Paleo)
Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Braised Celery with Onion, Pancetta and Tomatoes on Food 52
1 lb. celery
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 oz. pancetta
15 ounce can plum tomatoes
1 lb. hot Italian sausage (4 links)
1 egg per person
2 tsp. or so butter
crushed red pepper
salt & pepper
Cut your celery on a diagonal into 3 inch pieces. Slice the onion very thin. cut the pancetta into strips or dice into cubes.
In a large pan, heat the oil on medium. Add the onion and sautee until light gold. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat becomes translucent. Add 2 links sausage, slipped out of their casings, and sautee (breaking up the sausage into bits as you go) until browned.
Once everything is nice and browned, add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing as you add to the pan. Nestle the remaining 2 sausages in the pan. Add the celery, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and toss to coat well. Pop the lid on and knock the heat down to a steady simmer.
Simmer 15 minutes and check – I ended up cooking my dish for an hour in total to get the doneness I wanted; you may want to go less time if you want crisper celery. At an hour, the celery was nice and soft and the flavors were really well melded. Check every 15-20 minutes or so to make sure things aren’t getting too dry and to give a nice stir. If your mix does get dry, add some water or white wan to the pan. If the mix is too watery; take the lid off, raise the heat, and boil away the excess liquid.
While the ragu is simmering, fry your eggs in butter until the desired doneness – I went for runny yolks and the dish was luscious.
Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch.