Bowtie Pasta with Summer Squash and Tomatoes

13 Miles, Lots of Sweating, No Water

Ok, I’m back from the run.  13 miles in an hour and 50 minutes, about an 8:27 pace.  This is a good bit slower than the 7:45 pace I had hoped for, but I don’t feel too badly about it because I recently ran the half marathon at a much faster pace than this.  When I run on roads, it’s hard to keep a pace because of having to stop at intersections, and I end up running extra from crossing the road so many times to run on the side with a sidewalk.  Plus, the run was much hillier than I’d imagined when I plotted it on Gmaps Pedometer.  There is a flat (incredibly boring) trail not too far away that I’ll have to go to every once in a while to hit the paces exactly to make sure I’m on schedule with the training, but I’m satisfied with today’s effort, given the circumstances.  And I remembered to lube up beforehand, so I really have nothing to complain about.

That said, I was definitely feeling fatigued during the last few miles today; more fatigued, perhaps, than I should have been.  I think part of the problem is a bad habit I’ve gotten into.  You see, I hate carrying anything with me on the run because the extra weight becomes all I can think about and I drive myself crazy.  So I haven’t been bringing water with me on long runs, and today was no different.  I could stop at a store or something, but that would totally kill the pace.  I could wear a fuel belt, but I just don’t like to because it shakes too much.  Until today, this hasn’t really affected my runs, but I’m starting to think that there’s no getting around bringing something with me.  Any other ideas?  When does this become dangerous?

Father’s Day Dinner

squash pasta in bowl 300x225Erin and I made dinner for my dad and his wife Margaret yesterday, our gift to him in addition to a book about no-knead breadmaking that I expect will start paying dividends soon.  We got some beautiful yellow squash at the farmers market this weekend and decided to make a pasta dish with it.

Local, seasonal eating is something I’m still trying to do more of.  It’s so great because it forces you to eat what’s available; I would never independently say “Hey Erin, let’s buy some squash at the store today to use for dinner.”  It’s just not an ingredient I think about when I’m planning meals.  But when you see something that’s fresh and ripe at the farmers market and you buy it because there’s still not much else there, you end up making some really interesting and comforting food that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

And this pasta dish was no exception.  It was really delicious; Margaret wondered aloud why you couldn’t get this kind of stuff in a restaurant.  When you order veggie pasta, you get bland, white-flour pasta with some limp, steamed or sauteed vegetables, if you’re lucky.  This meal was nothing like that.  Each ingredient was so flavorful and it all came together to make a near-perfect early summer meal.  We didn’t vote on how many cows to give it, but I’m sure it would have been worthy of no less than four out of five.

We also used arugula from Erin’s garden to make my favorite salad, which is quickly becoming Erin and my dad’s favorite as well:

mushroom salad 1024x768

The recipe that I used for the pasta is from Cooks Illustrated.  I made a few changes and eyeballed a lot of the measurements, so I’ll give you my adapted version here.

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Bowtie Pasta with Yellow Squash and Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients (for 4 huge servings):

  • 1 lb whole wheat bowtie pasta (I used Barilla Plus)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into half-inch chunks
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (I used the elephant garlic I got from the farmers market)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Toss the squash with a tablespoon of kosher salt, then set in a colander over a large bowl for 30 minutes so that some water will be released into the bowl.  Once the time is up, dry the squash with paper towels and brush off excess salt.

Boil water for the pasta, add salt until it tastes like sea water.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once it’s shimmering, add the squash and saute for about 5 minutes.  The goal is to get some nice color on the squash, so just move it around often enough to keep it from burning.  Move the squash to a large plate.

Add another 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for a few seconds, until aromatic.  Don’t let it burn!  Add the squash back in and stir it in with the garlic and red pepper over medium-low heat to keep it warm while the pasta finishes.

Drain the pasta, combine with the squash mixture, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 Tbsp oil, tomatoes, and basil.  Mix well, adjust seasoning, and serve topped with cheese.

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Comments

  1. I also struggle with fueling during long runs – once I did an 18-miler without gels or water. That was a mistake – I almost passed out as I was waiting in line to buy chocolate milk!! Anyway, I don’t know how feasible it is for you, but for my extra long runs (16 + miles) I try to incorporate a race into the mileage. For example, last fall I signed up for a bunch of half-marathons (NYRR races are only $15 for members!), ran the 13 miles that was part of the “race”, and then added on afterwards. The race course provided gatorade, water, and gels. I called them my “catered” long runs. If that option isn’t realistic for you, perhaps you could run loops around your neighborhood and have Erin set up a table with water in front of your house? Sorry for the long-winded response! :-)

    • I like the setting up in the neighborhood idea. I could run by, pick up a cup, run with it for a little while, then throw it on the ground just like in a real race! And Erin would clean it up. She’d love that :)

      Actually I like your idea of using races for the longest runs. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could find many near me during the summer.

  2. Your pasta looks delicious!

    As far as intake during long runs, I definitely have to refuel, but I’ve learned to adjust to the fuel belt I wear. You could also try leaving a couple of water bottles along the route, if you think they’ll be safe, and then you will have them at a few spots – it just takes a bit more prep and cleanup time, but it’s worth it!

    Glad you managed to bang out the 13 miles but I hope you can find a way to get some water in for future runs!
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..This Is My Wake-Up Call =-.

  3. I usually just carry a small water bottle in my hand. I started running that way and am totally comfortable with it. There are some nifty handheld water bottle straps that makes it easier to grip the bottle. For 13 miles though, I normally need a 20oz size bottle so I use a belt. I prefer the Nathan’s line as they make waist belts designed for women and fall into the right places (a tip for Erin should she ever consider one). They make decent ones for men too.

    • Katherine and Linda, thanks for the fuel belt tips. One thing I sometimes do is leave water in the car or near it when I go to the trail, and do a few out and backs to get water every 8 miles or so. This seems to be enough for me, but it makes for boring runs.

      I think I might just have to suck it up and wear the fuel belt :(

  4. Wow you are a machine of a runner. That’s awesome!

    Your food looks tasty… I generally don’t make pasta at home because I’ve realized that I don’t care much for pasta; it’s just when it’s the homemade kind with a really good sauce and add-ins at a proper restaurant (or cooked by someone who knows how to REALLY cook pasta, which I evidently do not), that I truly enjoy it. The salad sounds heavenly.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Life Lessons: The motivation to run begins with a smile =-.

    • Yeah I can understand that about pasta. I almost always spend 2 or 3 dollars on a pound of dried pasta in the stores because it’s so much better than the 1 dollar stuff. And of course homemade blows everything away.

      Thanks for calling me a machine :)

  5. I use a Camelbak Flashflo waist pack for my long runs. It is the most comfortable one I’ve found since you can adjust and tighten easily as you drink the water and it starts to loosen up.

    Thanks for posting the pasta recipe and the chickpea salad one too. Those are just the kind of quick and easy dishes I’m looking to make!

  6. Wow. This meal looks delicious. And as for running. My runs are now very early in the morning. Super early since it is 102 degrees here. Geez!

  7. I like to cheat and stop my watch when I go into a store to buy water. It works though! Otherwise I know people will plan ahead and put their water out along the course, or I know someone whose wife will actually meet him at certain places along the course and have water and/or snacks for him on his long run days. Takes a supportive wife, but I thought that was pretty awesome!

    • I’ll make sure I show this comment to Erin… maybe I’ll print it out and post it all over the house.

      Actually, I never thought of it but cheating by stopping the watch isn’t a bad idea. Probably a 3-5 minute break for some water would result in a better workout than gradual failure of my muscles due to dehydration!

  8. Well, I made this dish tonight, in that while it didn’t really resemble this dish in anything but spirit this was the general idea I had for what inspired tonight’s meal.

    One suggestion I have: Roasted Red Peppers! They blend really well with the squash…

    Thanks for the inspiration.
    .-= Blaine Moore´s last blog ..Sunday River Trail Exploration » Now With Video! =-.

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