The last few weeks I have been on the road, traveling to North Carolina, Las Vegas and Chicago to visit distributors and host Winemaker dinners and it has been a challenge to fit training into my schedule. I’ve managed to squeeze my runs in the early mornings on the hotel treadmills at least three times a week, averaging 4 ½ -5 miles per run. During these sales trips, I intentionally eat light in the morning—mostly fruit, yogurt and granola, especially since I know winemaker dinners have a tendency to rack up calories! Recently, I replaced my old Asics as they wore big holes through the top and have replaced them with two pairs of Brooks; each pair has a different heel height to alter running styles during training. As I am increasing my mileage, my goal for June is to run five miles twice a week with an eight mile run on the weekend and to be eight pounds lighter before race day (to ease the impact on the ankles and knees!).
When not on the road, my schedule is a little bit more flexible and I have been integrating evening runs, walks with my dog, as well as dynamic dumbbell workouts into my training. The dumbbell training includes squats, rows, twisting militaries, amongst other exercises that increase the overall strength and endurance of my muscles, which in turn improves my ability to build up to longer distances.
On a general note, I was a sprinter in high school and have always had an aversion to distance running. My furthest distance was a 10K when I was in graduate school, when I was 25 pounds lighter and 33 years younger and so I am enjoying the challenge. I’m counting on the excitement of running in a crowd to keep me moving!
I have chosen this particular recipe to share because it is one of my go-to recovery meals—it satisfies a big hunger with texture and complex flavors without inducing a protein ‘coma’ that a burger or steak might cause.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Pancetta
For the Pasta:
1 cup finely milled whole wheat flour, sifted
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp cold water
For the ‘Sauce’:
4 thin slices of pancetta, minced
1 bunch Lacinito (Dinosaur) kale, rinsed, ribs removed
1 large pinch hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mound the flour on a large cutting board (big enough for rolling out the pasta). Make a well in the center of the mound and pour in the beaten egg. Use your fingers to mix the egg and flour together to make a dough that just sticks together, adding the cold water as necessary. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. It should be difficult, firm, but evenly smooth by the end. Roll in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Bring a large stockpot of water to boil. Add a large pinch of sea salt. Throw in the kale leaves and blanch for 1-2 minutes to set color and soften slightly. Lift kale into a colander, rinse with cold water to stop cooking, and drain thoroughly. Leave water in stockpot for cooking pasta. Ball up the kale, squeeze the water from it, cut in narrow strips (julienne), and set aside. In a large frying pan, sauté the pancetta until almost crisp, rendering much of the fat. Turn heat off, drain half the fat from the pancetta and add the olive oil to the pan. Cut the pasta dough into four pieces. Lightly flour the board and a rolling pin and roll to fettuccini thickness. Use a knife to cut into ¼” noodles and set aside. Bring the kale water to a boil again. Turn the frying pan with the pancetta and olive oil to medium high and add the kale and red pepper flakes. Stir for several minutes and lower heat to medium low. Boil the pasta until it floats up and for another 2-3 minutes or until no longer grainy tasting. Drain the pasta but save 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the frying pan with kale, etc., mix ingredients, and add any pasta water to make the ingredients coat the pasta nicely. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.
Cheer Dave on at the Destination Races Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 20, 2014!