- 1 celery bunch, large
- 1 slice bread, stale
- 1 lb ground beef, lean
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, fresh and chopped
- black pepper, freshly ground
- ½ cup flour, unbleached
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ cups tomatoes, peeled or 1½ cups canned tomatoes
- Place bread, covered by water in a a small saucepan and let it soak for 5 minutes. Drain excess water, place saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring until bread has become a pap, the consistency of cooked cereal.
- Separate celery stalks and remove stringy fibers. Cut into 36 x 2½ inch pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt. Add water to cover, bring to a boil and cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- Place cooked bread and meat in a bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 Tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Mix well to combine. Divide into 18 small balls.
- Place 1 ball between two pieces of celery and press so that they hold together. Roll in flour and lay on a piece of wax paper. Continue until all the meat and celery have been used.
- Beat the remaining eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat ½ cup oil in a frying pan; dip stuffed celery in beaten eggs and fry until golden on all sides. Place in a large skillet in a single layer. Add garlic, tomatoes, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining parsley and small amounts of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
You may prepare stuffed celery a day ahead of time. Reheat a moment before serving, it actually tastes better than when served immediately after cooking.