Marathon Pasta

Race season is in full force in our household!  Jaycob is competing in the Xterra Mountain Championship off-road triathlon in Beaver Creek next weekend, while I'm doing a women's sprint triathlon in Rio Rancho.  When it's race week, we are all about the carb loading.  Some of our favorite pre-race dinners are spaghetti with turkey meatballs, and spicy chicken rigatoni, but I recently discovered this yummy recipe from Runner's World!  In honor of the city of Marathon (where a man ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians in an ancient battle, hence the distance of what we now call a "marathon"), Marathon pasta is made up of truly Greek ingredients.  You can add some chicken or seafood for a little extra protein. 


(from Claire Hopley with Runner's World)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1-2 cloves garlic (according to taste), chopped
1 28-ounce can chopped or crushed tomatoes
8 small to medium bay leaves plus a few more for garnish
1/ 2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/ 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 dozen pitted Kalamata olives
2 teaspoons Greek rigani or oregano
1 pound penne or pasta of your choice
1/ 3 cup Parmesan plus more for serving
  • Pour the oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook gently for about four minutes until they have softened. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme and fennel seeds. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until some of the tomato juice has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
  • Stir in the Kalamata olives along with the rigani or oregano and cook for another five minutes, or long enough to heat the olives through. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pan. Add a tablespoon of salt, then the penne or other pasta. Stir to separate the pieces and cook for 7-8 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain.
  • To serve, toss the pasta with about half the sauce and transfer to a warmed platter or to individual plates. Top with more sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve more at the table.

For more about this recipe and its Greek origins, check out: Marathon Pasta from Runner's World


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