What to do with lots of celery in the fridge? Make pasta with celery, of course! It’s real easy, with a great texture from the lightly cooked celery strips.
It has that celery crunch and a garlicky, lemony fresh parsley flavor. It’s definitely an all year round dish but works particularly well in the summer when looking for lighter pastas.
Anytime I add a lot of lemon zest and juice to a pasta, it just seems extra summery. This dish is quite similar to our Lemon Spaghetti With Raw Zucchini Recipe. They both have an abundance of fresh lemon juice and parsley.
Simple ingredients in this one, and if you are vegan just omit the parmigiano reggiano shown. The celery pasta is excellent either way!
How To Make Pasta With Celery
- Begin by cooking 1 pound of spaghetti “al dente” in salted (2 Tbsp kosher salt per gallon) water. Also, before draining the pasta, reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Chop a 1/4 cup of fresh parsley and set aside.
- Julienne 4 cups of celery strips. No need to be absolutely perfect here, do the best you can to make the pieces the same length and similar thickness.
- Zest 1 lemon and lightly chop any large strips.
- Slice or chop 4 cloves of garlic.
- In a large pan saute the garlic in a 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium to medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- When the garlic turns lightly golden add the celery strips and cook for 3 minutes more. Season with 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp (optional) crushed red pepper flakes.
- To the pan, add 1 cup of pasta water. Also, add in the juice of 1 lemon. Let the sauce cook for 1 minute.
- Add the spaghetti to the pan and mix thoroughly. Cook for 1 more minute allowing the sauce to stick to the pasta. Taste test and adjust salt and crushed pepper flake levels if required. If the spaghetti is too dry add in a few ounces at a time of the reserved pasta water. Finally remove the pan from the heat and drizzle a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil onto the spaghetti. Add the zest and parsley and mix one more time before serving. Enjoy!
So that’s how to make a great summertime pasta recipe! Serve the celery pasta with more extra virgin olive, red pepper flakes, lemon wedges and parmigiano reggiano on the side.
Spaghetti And Celery Substitutions And Additions
- Capers – Capers are a great ingredient, with a ton of flavor. Because of their potency, use about 2 tablespoons, anymore than that will overpower the celery and lemon flavors.
- Anchovies – Use 3 chopped fillets as a good starting point. Saute them with the garlic until they dissolve. Anchovies have great flavor, but are not for everyone. We love them!
- Basil – Love this addition – Add in a 1/4 cup or more of fresh torn leaves right at the end along with the parsley.
- Veggies – So many good ones can be added to this celery with pasta. Chopped asparagus, cherry tomatoes, chunks of zucchini and fresh spinach would all be appropriate.
Tips For Cooking Spaghetti And Celery Just Right
- Celery – The crunch in the celery makes this dish especially nice. If your at all hesitant, undercook the celery.
- Sauteing garlic – Getting a nice light golden color on the garlic, will maximize its wonderful flavor. Make sure to not burn the garlic, but to have a slight golden color on it before adding the celery. Once the celery is added, water will be released, hindering the garlic’s ability to brown.
- Pasta water – Reserve 2 cups or more to ensure the celery pasta is perfect before serving. The recipe calls for 1 cup, but if the pasta dries out, use a few ounces at a time to bring the consistency right back.
On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being easy this recipe is a 2 1/2. Just make sure to keep the crunch of the celery, by only cooking it a few minutes. Cook the garlic til lightly golden, and reserve extra pasta water to use if the pasta dries out before serving.
Other Light Summer Pasta Recipes
- Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes
- Pasta With Broccoli
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Linguine With White Clam Sauce
- Tuna Pasta
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- 1 pound spaghetti
- 4 cups celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 large lemons
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Cook spaghetti to al dente in salted (2 Tbsp kosher salt per gallon) water. Chop a 1/4 cup fresh parsley and 4 cloves garlic. Juice and zest 1 lemon. Julienne 4 cups worth of celery into 3" long matchsticks.
- Saute garlic in a 1/4 cup of olive oil in large pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. After garlic is lightly golden add the celery and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper to season the celery.
- Add 1 cup of pasta water and the lemon juice to the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add in the spaghetti and mix to thoroughly coat with the sauce. Cook for 1 minute, then remove pan from heat. Taste test and adjust salt and red pepper if necessary. Add the zest and fresh parsely. Also, drizzle a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil onto the spaghetti. Mix one more time and serve with more crushed red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive, lemon wedges and cheese. Enjoy!
- If the pasta dries out before serving, just add a few ounces of the reserved pasta water to loosen it right up.
- Only 1 tsp of kosher salt was used, adjust according to taste.
- Crushed red pepper is optional.
- Serve with extra red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, parmigiano reggiano cheese and lemon wedges on side.