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Marinara Sauce and maybe homemade noodles?

  • l
  • lbs Oct 17, 2006 07:12 PM
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Hello all -

I am running the Chicago marathon on Sunday and I need to carb up. I also found out that my main source of distraction will be at his parents house this weekend. Thus I am on my own with just my nervousness/restlessness and without any of my normal ways of relaxation (can't run, can't drink, etc) for Saturday day/night. I was hoping to do make basic pasta and marinara sauce as a way to calm myself down. I think I have the basics of the sauce. I did a search on the forum. A couple of questions:

1) How long does the sauce need to simmer?
2) If I don't use cans of tomatoes, how many tomatoes should I buy or is just as easy using cans? (I want this to be somewhat labor intensive.)

For the noodles:

1) How do you make them? I have a small kitchen with only one counter. Seriously. I go batty at times in there.

Thanks for reading through all of this blatther. I'm freaking out and I still have 5 days!

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  1. Depends on if you're using tomatoes or canned tomatoes. If you're using plain ol' tomatoes, I'd go with about three pounds, and you'll kill plenty of time just by peeling and seeding them. Then they should simmer for a bit--I think Marcela Hazan recommends 45 minutes-- before you start adding the other ingredients. At the very least, I'd go with simmering 45 minutes after adding ingredients.

    I also have a teensy-weensy kitchen, so I can't make fresh pasta. But I'm sure you could find a recipe on the web. I DO, however, recommend that you buy fresh pasta somewhere in case the pasta you make doesn't turn out, as it can be a bit tricky.

    1. I agree w/ MuppetGrrl about making pasta. Do you have a pasta maker (the one that rolls it thin and cuts it)? I tried once in a small kitchen, using a rolling pin. It was time consuming AND physically tiring, trying to get it all out w/out having it stick and I had strands of pasta hanging everywhere. I couldn't get even strands. It tasted awful and I was exhausted (and that was back when I was working out 4-6 hours a day). If you want to make something high carb, how about using wonton wrappers and making pumpkin, or anything really, raviolis? It's easy to do but somewhat time consuming to put together. Good luck on your marathon!

      1. What a great idea for a healthy pre-race distraction! I usually do races out of town and try-as-I-might, get too-heavy restaurant meals.

        I've only made pasta with a hand-crank machine and the dough in the food processor. If you don't have a table you can work on for rolling dough by hand, consider gnocchi. It's still time consuming but requires less space, almost no equipment. Some recipes are rich though. In my small kitchen I like to make spaetzle, but that is not time consuming and IMHO better with heavy sauces or cheese.

        For sauce, I love the one that is part of this eggplant parmesean recipe (though I usually use canned tomatoes). It's low fat, not spicy and I recommend a longer simmer to let it thicken:
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        With your main distractor gone it might be a good night to watch Chariots of Fire or some other running movie! ;
        )http://www.amazon.com/Inspirational-R...

        Best of luck with the run and the cooking!

        1. Fresh pasta is not very difficult, there are many recipes around. But I strongly urge you to pick up a pound of dried pasta as a back up just in case it doesn't work out, or it just gets too late or something.

          1. Hey, good luck on the marathon. Not knowing your competition level, I feel I should mention that "carbing up" doesn't do anything unless you've seriously "carbed down" beforehand. By carbing down you trick your body into over storing when you go on your carb-fest. I made myself pretty sick my first marathon because I loaded up the day before, and my body just wasn't used to that, and had nothing to do with it. If you already know this, then I apologize, and good luck!

            1. Thanks everyone for the responses! I am going to check the Marcela Hazen cookbook out today from the library and read up on that. I really appreciate the good luck wishes and cooking advice! I opted against the noodles after reading the Chowser account - I have bad luck with that kind of stuff! I'll post my results on the sauce!

              2 Replies
              1. re: lbs

                am i going to get creamed for recommending some grocery pasta to use, like barilla plus or whole wheat? i really like barilla plus...

                btw, good luck in the marathon!

                1. re: cervisiam

                  Not at all! I dig Barilla plus, myself. But since it's kind of a "special" occasion, I'd definitely recommend finding an Italian deli and getting refrigerated fresh.

              2. Homemade White Noodles from The James Beard Cookbook work for me, although I do usually use a pasta roller to get the dough thin.

                2 large eggs
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour

                The amount of flour you will need is difficult to state exactly - judge as you mix it in. Beat the eggs and salt together & add enough flour to make a stiff but not super-dry dough. Flour a workspace & turn the dough out. Knead it 8 - 10 minutes until you have a smooth, firm dough. Cover with a dish towel and let stand for half an hour. Then flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a very, very thin sheet 1/8 inch thick. Let it stand to dry for 5 minutes. Cut into strips 1/8 to 1/2 inch wide.

                To cook: Put several quarts of water in a large kettle. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Start testing fresh noodles as soon as they return to the boil.