Ready to Run: Poblano & Mojo Pasta

It’s not much to look at, is it? Sometimes, a seemingly beige bowl of pasta spiked with chiles is just the thing to wake you up and get ready for the next challenge. Life continues at breakneck pace for me with work, half-marathon training and too many evening obligations that have been taking me away from the stove.

I spent Friday night volunteering for the American Cancer Society at the Skyline Soiree. The party delighted 350 guests with a night of carnival games, dancing, food and cocktails to support our fight against cancer. I had a blast working the mini-golf carnival game and witnessed a roomful of adults clamoring to play and win a silly jelly ring that had LED blinking lights inside…by the end of the evening, the tent was a giant mass of dancers alight with blinking rings. Sometimes grown-ups just need a night off to play like the kids.

After the fundraising was done, I was staring down a double-race weekend and feeling like I bit off a lot more than I could handle. At the last minute, I signed Mark and I up for a 5K race on Saturday, in addition to the Race Against Hate 10K we already had planned on Sunday. The 5K was at 5:00 p.m. and miserably hot and humid – neither of us were at our best. I won’t call the 5K a total loss, though, as it gave us a chance to meet up with some of the awesome DailyMile members that have been cheering for me online for months now as I prep for the half-marathon.

By the time we got home, our stomachs were rumbling, and I wanted to have a “proper” pre-race meal, so I boiled up some Bio-naturae gluten-free linguine, and rummaged through the crisper to come up with something quick and healthy. I came back with onion, some of that liquid gold mojo de ajo confited garlic, and a couple of huge poblano peppers. While the pasta boiled, I simply sauteed the veggies with a little olive oil, added some salt & pepper and tossed the peppers with the cooked linguine and a little cooking water. A squeeze of lemon and a little finely grated aged gouda, and we had a pretty great meal to sit down to. Photos were an afterthought, but I’m glad to have captured a little of the meal, as it’s a simple dish we’ll definitely make again – maybe even the night before the next race.

For the runners out there – what’s your favorite pre-race meal? Or, what’s your favorite way to use chiles in your cooking? Share in the comments below…

Poblano & Mojo Linguine
Serves 2

6oz Bionature gluten-free linguine
2 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into long, thin strips
1/2 onion, sliced
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup mojo de ajo
1/4-1/2 cup pasta cooking water
salt to taste
lots of fresh ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Garnish with finely grated aged gouda or parmesan

  1. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil.
  2. While the water heats, slice the poblanos and onion. When the water is boiling, add the linguine and cook uncovered until al dente – about 10 minutes on my stove. Stir the pot often, so the linguine doesn’t stick together. As the pasta cooks, make the “sauce.” Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, poblanos and onion to the pan with a pinch of salt, and saute until the veggies have softened and just begun to caramelize at the edges – it should take just about the same amount of time that the pasta will need to cook.
  3. Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water to help bind the pasta together. Drain the pasta quickly and add to the pan with the peppers and onions. Add the mojo de ajo and toss quickly to coat. Add some of the pasta water to help the flavors blend together. Grate lots of fresh black pepper over the pasta, and add salt if needed. Hit the pan with a squeeze or two of lemon juice just to brighten the flavors. Serve, and garnish with fresh grated aged gouda or parmesan.

The Race Against Hate Running Crew: Mark, Jeremy, Jenn, Steve, Katey, Dave, Danielle, Lane, Chris, Debbie, Shelley, Aria

3 thoughts on “Ready to Run: Poblano & Mojo Pasta

  1. the not-so-pretty dishes are always the best! even with a good camera that i’m slowly learning more about, i still can’t bring myself to spend more than a quick minute on shots – i see all these wonderfully arranged and “set” pics and I can’t imagine eating cold food to make the pics prettier!

    hope the second race went well!

    • I know, Heather! Seriously, I had already started stuffing my face when Mark said – “hey, you should take pics of this – it’s really good.” Like you, I enjoy my food hot, so the pics aren’t always the best, but the food still matters more than the pics to me!

      The second race was great – I was only off from my personal best by 10sec/mile, but the actually running felt better than my personal record, which matters to me more! I’m sure it was all because of the pasta! 🙂

  2. I just made this for dinner and thought it was amazing. I chose to use Anaheim peppers instead of anything hotter (touchy ol’ preggers tums) and I didn’t have any of that delectable mojo de ajo (sp?) of yours – I soooo have to make that – so I improvised and used my garlic-crusher-gadget-thingy and chucked a few cloves in. Of course I couldn’t have any cheesy goodness, but it was still so delicious. I’ve been eating pretty small portions these days, but I went back for seconds, I couldn’t resist!!

    Thought of you on marathon day and hope it went awesome! Have a great vacation…

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