The Scoop:

1 week from today I’ll be hopping the Megabus from Philly to DC to run the MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!!

Oh. My. Gosh.  I am so freaking excited!!  Just holy cow excited.

MCM will be my 4th marathon, but for some reason I am looking forward to this one more than any of the others.  The last 6 months have been really stressful for me.  They’ve been filled with a lot of unknows.  A lot of changes.  And yet sometimes, not enough change.  I’ve been sorting through a lot of things, and marathon training has provided me with the focus and structure that I’ve desperately been craving.  This is, without a doubt,  the hardest I’ve trained for anything since graduating college, and right now I just feel ready.  I feel prepared.  And it feels good.  Very very good.

When I was in college, a week before our big championship meet, my coach would always remind us:  All of the hard work has been done.  Now just trust your training and stay out of trouble!

9 days away from my race, I only have 2 things on my mind: Staying out of trouble and eating my CARBS!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of carbo-loading the night before a big run, but I am a big fan of carbo-loading the week before a marathon!  This Power Pasta is one of my absolute favorites and I plan to enjoy it this week as I prepare my body to run.  It is super flavorful and packed with powerful ingredients like whole grains, kale, and white beans.  And the best part is, this dish is loaded with so much goodness that you don’t have to be training for a marathon to feel awesome about eating it!

The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta
  • 1 10 oz bag pre-cut kale (or 1 lb of kale, trimmed and cut)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinced
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
  • 1 Tbs red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

The Deets:

Boil a large pot of water.  Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.  When the pasta has about 3 minutes left to go, throw in the kale and make sure it submerges completely.  For the kale, I like to buy the pre-trimmed and cut stuff from Trader Joe’s.  If you can’t find it pre-cut, just buy a pound of it fresh and trim off the stalks and cut the leaves into bite sized pieces.  When the pasta and kale are tender, drain them and return them to the pot.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn to a nice golden shade.  Add the diced pancetta and turn the heat up a bit.  Cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until the pancetta gets crispy.

Note:   I buy pre-diced pancetta at Trader Joe’s.  If you can’t find pancetta at your local grocery store, bacon will work just fine.  Bacon is a bit fattier than pancetta though, so you may need to drain off a bit of the grease.

When the pancetta is crispy, add the white beans, diced tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.  Continue cooking long enough for the beans and tomatoes to warm through.  For me, this coincided perfectly with the cooking of my pasta and kale.  When the tomato/bean mixture is ready, pour it into the pot with pasta and toss the ingredients with a wooden spoon so they evenly distribute.  Add the reserved tomato juice and the kosher salt to taste.  You may need more or less depending on the saltiness of the pancetta.

Serve Power Pasta warm, topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.

The Inspiration:

I made this garlicky broccoli rabe pasta from Smitten Kitchen then totally remixed it!  The Smitten Kitchen version is out of this world as well : )

Doesn’t matter if you need power for your run or power for you day.  Just go make this power pasta!

XOXO,

Tall One

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