Pasta, pasta, pasta! Of course running in an event means pasta the evening before, and in anticipation for the big day, we had everyone over for a feast of carbs, runners and non-runners alike. By the time of the pasta dinner, we were able to secure the missing third man for our relay team, who stepped in bravely to an otherwise all ladies squad. He came into the party, and after chatting about the race logistics, he asked in a very non-chalant way “So what are we shooting for?”. Cue blank stares from us ladies. We ask, “What do you mean?”, and he repeats again, “What are we shooting for, at the race?”. I reply “The finish line?”. It turns out that our brave stand-in is trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon – alas, I don’t think we’re going to be the team to get him there….But we can offer pasta!
Our stranded friend’s husband, who came in from Zurich via crowded over night train, is actually running the full marathon. Given his “real runner” status, I catered the menu to his request, although to be fair, he only requested “Pasta with to-MAH-toe” sauce, nothing too chunky, nothing to spicy, so homemade marinara it was. The marinara sauce is an improvisation from the book Two Dudes, One Pan:
- 3 x 400g cans of crushed italian tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon (about) of roasted chopped garlic – yes, I cheat and use the kind from the jar, and yes, I know I should chop my own but I’m always in a hurry – the original recipe calls for 20 sliced cloves of garlic which seemed like a lot of slicing and I had to pick up our race numbers!
- 1/3 cup good olive oil – n.b. while i was making the sauce this seemed like a lot – I would reduce if using the marinara sauce as a topping (e.g. on ravioli, on a meat etc) but when tossed with all the pasta it turned out fine
- 20 leaves of basil – i add a little more, the dudes say to add them whole but i don’t like whole leaves floating around – looks like seaweed – so i cut them into medium strips with kitchen scissors
- Salt to taste
- Red chili flakes – i actually didn’t have these on hand so skipped this time, am sure they would have added a nice kick
To make sauce: heat olive oil in and garlic in pan, toast until fragrant (about 5-7 minutes) on medium heat, add tomatoes and stir, let simmer about 45 minutes, add basil at end and season to taste. Can freeze.
The full menu looked like this:
Conchiglie (shells) with pesto and fresh mozzarella
Radicchio and spinach salad with mushrooms, red onions, cashews and balsamic dressing
Berry Fruit Salad
Now they only thing we’re missing for the race is a recording of the Final Countdown!
Photography by The Bad Girl’s Kitchen.