Sunday, May 31, 2009

Puttanesca Power

Yesterday, I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. With the race day forecast calling for hot and humid conditions and my training being nowhere near adequate, the best pre-race preparation I could do was to eat a carb-heavy meal that would power my ill-trained body through the race. I ended up making spaghetti puttanesca; a meal that was both carb-laden enough to give me energy for all 13.1 miles and salty enough to help me avoid cramps during the race. The result: a personal best half marathon time. Normally, I would take all of the credit for a great race, but this time all the credit goes to the puttanesca power.

Spaghetti Puttanesca
Serves 4

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 3 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Ground black peppercorns
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for serving

  1. Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water according to directions on box.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and juice, basil, anchovies, capers, olives, pepper flakes, and oregano. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste.
  4. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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