It's official: my stomach has taken control of my body. Obviously that's a slight overstatement (errr not really), but in all seriousness, my hunger has reached new levels often times leaving me bonking halfway through a run or rage hungering at all my friends. Sorry!
This week has been case in point. Since Saturday's 18 mile run (!!!), I have literally been constantly hungry. Embarrassingly so. I highly doubt it's professional to be downing your lunch during a 10am meeting, but desperate times call for desperate measures? Obviously my high mileage has forced my body to burn calories like never before, but the issue has also been exacerbated by less than great eating habits for the past couple of months. I most likely haven't been getting as much fiber/protein as I should since Seamless provides at least two of my meals a day, leaving me at the nutritional whim of Tribeca's restaurants. Less than ideal. Besides being fun and wonderfully destressing, cooking is the best way to ensure you get the proper nutritional mix to maximize your training.
So last night, I took advantage of an early exit from the office to swing by the Union Square Greenmarket to scope out the vestiges of summer's produce. Snagged a few pints of shiny yellow and red cherry tomatoes, a couple shallots, and a bundle of fresh basil, which I decided to combine with some pasta and spicy Italian sausage. Perfect combination of carbs, MEAT, and fresh veggies for a hungry runner. I wanted to whip up one of my mum's standard summer pasta dishes, but of course I couldn't find the recipe and was way too lazy to fill out the form for Cook's Illustrated free online trial. So I winged it!
Homage to end of summer tomatoes
(Loosely adapted from the vague memory of a Cook's Illustrated recipe)
2 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic (1/4 inch slice)
4 large shallots (sliced in rings)
3/4 lb spicy Italian sausage
2 tbsp olive oil
red pepper (to taste)
farfalle or orecchiette pasta
pecorino or some other hard cheese, preferably with a little bite
Preheat oven to 300F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place whole cherry tomatoes on sheet along with sliced garlic and shallots. It's okay to leave the shallot rings intact rather than separating as it will help prevent them from burning. Toss vegetables with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt pepper to taste. Slow roast in oven for ~30-40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.
While the tomatoes are doing their thing, heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and quickly sear the outside of the sausages on high heat (3-4 minutes). Turn heat down and cook the sausages almost through for another 10 minutes. Drain fat from the pan and then allow meat to rest/cool for a few minutes before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the sausage into tomato mixture and put back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to burst. While you're waiting for your tomato sausage mixture to finish up, boil water and cook your pasta of choice - I prefer farfalle or orecchiette. After the tomatoes have burst and the onions look nice and caramelized, remove from oven and mix with pasta and arugula if you want some extra veggie lovin'. Garnish with basil and shaved pecorino cheese. Last step, put food to face.
I got a little overzealous in my cooking binge last night, so I also tried my hand at this fantastic recipe for goat cheese and caramelized onion cornbread from Smitten Kitchen! If you like corn, cheese, bread, or really just happiness, then you should definitely bake this immediately. Clearly I had to sample a smidge before getting around to photographing it.
Coming up: tackling the formidable 20 mile run, energy gel reviews, my running bucket list, and more NYRR races!