3.27.2013

Springtime Lemon-Herb Pasta with Peas



I'm loving spring time in California. We've been having mild, sunny days, and crisp, clear nights. I can't tell you how happy I am about daylight savings time. Who wouldn't love more sun in the sky and pretty flowers are blooming everywhere. My allergies hate the flowers part, but I take a pill for that these days.


There’s also a whole new batch of fresh produce coming into season. Asparagus, peas, artichokes, kiwi, and strawberries are starting to show up! Soon, summer will be knocking on our doors....ahhh (that was me day dreaming about a beach somewhere). 

Back to reality. Spring also means there are more and more races popping up around the Bay Area. My first half marathon of the year was this past weekend. I ran the Oakland Half Marathon for the 2nd year in a row. It has easily become one of the best races I've ever run. It's well organized, smallish, fairly flat, and has the best community support you could ask for. I mean, whole church congregations were out there cheering us on, the Raider Nation folks were giving out high fives, people are out of their front porches say "thank you, we love Oakland!" No wonder I PR it each time I run this race. The people of Oakland make you feel so good!

Backing up a bit, let's talk about some of those pre-race traditions most runners have. Number 1 on most lists, including my own, is carb loading.  Also on my list, drinking boat loads of water, setting out my exact running outfit starting from my socks up to my hat and hair ties. Oh, and watching "Fun Run.” How much more inspiring can you get than the “Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure.”

Back to the carbs. In the episode, Michael Scott eats a gigantic plate of fettuccine alfredo then pukes his guts out. This is not the type of carbo loading I’m talking about. No puking…that’s very bad.


So, in an attempt get my carbs in my body a healthy way with some fresh spring veggies, I made this Lemon Herb Pasta with Peas. It was a nice change from the traditional pasta with red sauce I usually have for my pre-race meal. It was easy to make, light, and refreshing. Plus, you can customize it with whatever fresh herbs or pasta you have on hand. I’m adding it my list to make again before my next race. 


First, grab some pasta. Any kind will do. I finally used my homemade pasta my January Foodie Pen pal sent me. Cook in a pot of salted water until al dente.


While the water is boiling and your pasta is cooking, chop up all your fresh herbs. I used tarragon, mint, chives, basil, and parsley. Add it to your lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and garlic. All that pretty green! You'll be tossing your pasta in this and topping it with cheese....see the full recipe and instructions below.


Lemon Herb Pasta with Peas
Serves 4 // Adapted from The New York Times

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, tarragon, mint, basil, and chives
Zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice from 1 lemon 
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound pasta, any type
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
 freshly grated Parmesan
salt to taste

1. Bring a large pot water to a boil. Once its boiling, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions until its just about al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, combine the herbs, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, set aside.
3. When the pasta is just about al dente add the peas (add 30 seconds before its done for fresh peas, 1 minute for frozen).
4. Drain pasta and peas and toss with herb mixture.
5. Serve with freshly grated cheese.


Oh, and my favorite post-race tradition...the carb re-loading. Or beer and burgers.


(Laura, Kyla, and myself celebrating. Photo courtesy of Kyla). 

What's your favorite thing about springtime? Do you have any pre or post running traditions or rituals?

 Happy Spring and Happy Running!

Erica

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