Vital Veg, organic farm, celery

Braised celery with pancetta and tomatoes

1kg celery
60ml extra virgin olive oil
3 onions, sliced very thin
200g pancetta, cut into strips
1 tin chopped tomatoes, with their juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the celery's leafy tops, saving the leaves for another use, and detach all the stalks from their base.  Wash thoroughly.

Cut the stalks into pieces about 3 inches long (cutting on a diagonal looks nice). 

Put the oil and onion in a saute pan, and turn on the heat to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it is light golden, then add the pancetta strips.

After a few minutes,  when the pancetta's fat becomes translucent, add the tomatoes with their juice, the celery, salt, and pepper, and toss thoroughly to coat well.

Adjust heat to cook  at a steady simmer, and put a cover on the pan. After 15 minutes check the celery, cooking it until it  feels tender when prodded with a fork.

The longer you cook it, the softer and sweeter it will become.

If while the celery is cooking, the pan juices become insufficient, replenish with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water of juice from the canned tomatoes as needed.

If, when the celery is done, the pan juices are watery, uncover, raise the heat to high, and boil the juices away rapidly.

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