Monday, February 11, 2008

"Boost your system" Spaghetti

I was a little apprehensive about Sunday's run - 17 miles with my faster running buddies and an early start, which I always find hard on a Sunday (!). We had no exciting plans for Saturday night , so the preparation was good. I only drank a couple of glasses of red wine (really nice!) and ate one of my ideal pre- long-run meals, a sort of bastardised version of spaghetti carbonara. The kids call it carbonara, but it is much less rich and provides a good balance of nutrients. It is a great dish for the night before a big run for several reasons: spaghetti has a G.I. of 40, so the carbohydrate breaks down slowly during digestion, releasing the glucose more gradually into the bloodstream and therefore sustaining energy levels for longer; the spinach provides iron and folic acid; the garlic is high in vitamins A, B and C, iron, calcium and selenium and as well as lowering cholesterol, it is said to reduce cramps and muscular spasms; the eggs provide a good source of protein. If you wanted to be really healthy, I suppose you could leave out the creme fraiche and the bacon, but if you ask me, such things in life are not worth sacrificing. I topped up the system the following morning with a plain bowl of porridge with crunchy demerara sugar sprinkled on top, a cup of tea and a pint of water.

The run was good. Despite the hills, I honestly felt good until about mile 15, when I started clock-watching, slowing down and dreaming of home. The weather was superb - one of those beautiful sunny, chilly mornings - and I managed to keep up a steady 8 minute mile pace. There was no way, however, that I could have run another 9 miles at this stage and just the thought of it fills me with dread....

"Boost your system" spaghetti

500g spaghetti
large pack of spinach
pack of mushrooms, sliced
small red chilli or a red pepper, sliced finely
2 cloves garlic, cushed
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped, or a pack of lardons/pancetta cubes
small pot of creme fraiche
grated parmesan
4 eggs
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to instructions in plenty of salted water
  2. Meanwhile, gently fry the bacon, mushrooms and red chilli in some olive oil until cooked
  3. When the spaghetti is ready, drain it and then return it to the saucepan (with a ladleful of the cooking water)
  4. Add the bacon, mushrooms and chilli and stir in the raw spinach and garlic.
  5. On the lowest possible heat, add the creme fraiche, the parmesan, the seasoning and then at the very last minute, crack in the eggs.
  6. Serve in big pasta bowls with extra shavings of parmesan and black pepper and a green salad with a lovely dijon mustard dressing on the side


FunSizeSnack said...

Hi Kate--I am a shameless foodie/runner myself. I'm glad to find a link your site. I'll keep checking back--we must be kindred spirits :) Best of luck with London!

foodierunner said...

Hi, I think you're right - I just looked at your blog! I've just come in from an 18 miler and am on a bit of a high as it was my best yet. I could even have kept on going...I ran on porridge, banana and crackers piled high with home made jam, plus some new gels I was trying out for the big day, as I find the sports drink they give you makes me vomit! What is the deadwood marathon and how do you run in all that snow?