Friday, April 3, 2009

Courageous Carbs

This weekend two members of my family will be undertaking hugely impressive physical feats. Tomorrow my mother in law will begin the 2 day Breast Cancer walk in Houston. Over the course of the next two days she will trek 39 miles, sleep in a tent overnight, shower in a public shared facility and do it all without an IPod or a radio (they are not allowed for safety purposes).

On Sunday my brother in law will participate in his third IronMan event, this time in his hometown of New Orleans. This is his first half IronMan, but it is still no small triumph. In one day he will swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run a half marathon of 13.1 miles. I am extremely proud of both of my in-laws for their dedication, training and persistence. I know they will both do great this weekend and in honor of them I cooked a carb packed healthy dish because I am sure they will both be dining on similar meals tonight in order to load up on energy.

Whole Wheat Penne with Artichokes and Fresh Ricotta
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2009

  • 2 cans of artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 3 cups uncooked whole wheat penne rigate pasta (about 12 ounces tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add artichokes and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 10 minutes or until artichokes are tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook pasta according to package instructions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, artichoke mixture, pasta, reserved cooking liquid, parsley, and pepper in a large bowl, tossing to combine.

Add ricotta in spoonfuls, stirring gently to combine.

Spoon 1 1/3 cups pasta mixture into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Anonymous said...

Your family is doing amazing things. That's just great. This looks like a delicious meal.

The other in-law~ Alice said...

I took Iv for a walk on his scooter yesterday... you think I need to change my diet to consist on carb packed pasta? Or, do you think I am ok continuing with my 10piece nugget meal from McDonald's??

Kerstin said...

I love all the ingredients in your pasta - it sounds super yummy! I miss having the excuse to eat tons of carbs like I did when I was swimming competitively. Good luck to your mother- and brother-in-law!!

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying sharing the carb packed meals even though I wont be competing in any of the events this weekend :)

Wife of the Iron Man In Law,


teresa said...

What a yummy carb packed meal, and good luck to the marathoners, that's amazing!

Anonymous said...

nammo said. . .

carb packed or nugget packed, your sister and sister-n-law just love food. . .and trey "set'um up joe"

this really looks great and i do love pasta!

Anonymous said...

This looks really good...I'm a huge fan of carbs....