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Tomato Olive Spaghetti


Today was 1/2 marathon day.

Mr. P did great – finished 10 minutes ahead of his last year’s time and came in at 1:45! Sub 8-minute mile pace!

As we were going out to dinner last night, my father-in-law asked Mr. P if he was going to have pasta for dinner. Well, he didn’t. He had fajitas and chips with salsa. And a margarita.


Let me think of the times I’ve had a drink the night before a half marathon.

Yeah, none. Yet, I’ve never run a 1:45 half marathon.

I also can’t eat 3,000 calories after 7pm each night and maintain my weight. SOME people are just lucky like that (coughcoughMr.Pcoughcough).


Before races, I usually do pasta. That was part of my running/racing routine from back in high school cross-country days, and I keep to that still.

Until this morning, I thought I was “retired” from distance racing. But of course my adrenalin was pumping and the race atmosphere is just…overwhelming and motivating. As much fun as it is to be a spectator, it’s so much better to be a racer.

I’m making no commitments or promises, but I have officially been bit by the (half) marathon bug…again.



Tomato Olive Spaghetti slightly adapted from Food Fitness Fresh Air

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
3 cups no salt added spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped


Cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high in large skillet. Saute onions until nearly translucent. Add garlic and continue sauteing until onions are fully translucent and tender. Stir in basil, oregano, chili flakes and garlic salt, and saute another minute.

Add capers, olives and sauce and bring up to temperature. Reduce heat to medium-low and add sherry. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, leaving a pinch aside, and cook until wilted.

Remove from heat. Serve over pasta and top with pinch of fresh parsley.

Yield: 7 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 380 calories; 10 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 311 mg. sodium; 60 g. carbohydrate; 12 g. fiber; 10.2 g. protein

Result: A fun spin on spaghetti for the olive-lovers out there! If you decide to make this, search out no salt added spaghetti sauce, or com brands to find the lowest. Otherwise, the sodium content goes sky-high. The olives and capers are very salty…and you can always add more, if desired. This was quick and simple! The original recipe called for soy crumbles if you wanted to make this a “meaty” sauce, too. Enjoy!


Happy Cinco de Mayo! Of course, we are celebrating a la Mr. P and having pizza (deep dish) again tonight. I guess that will go better with the wine my sister-in-law is bringing along than tacos, but we’re being all non-traditional like that. At least we did have Mexican last night…

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Be well,

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  1. May 5, 2012 / 5:23 pm

    Glad you got to try this one out. Looks beautiful. And I agree, as a spectator, I always, always want to jump right in.

  2. May 6, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    I am just like you – I can’t even drink the night before a long run, let alone a race!

  3. May 7, 2012 / 12:48 am

    Men! Frustrating right? lol Well, congrats to you both on finishing a halfer-that is so cool in and of itself, not to mention that he did great. You didn’t mention your time but I”m sure you did great as well. This sauce makes me very sentimental. My Mom’s signature spaghetti sauce always included both green and black olives and while us kids thought the sourness was so strange, we also loved it at the same time. I’ll have to make this for old time’s sake. <3

    • Nicole, RD
      May 7, 2012 / 6:29 am

      I didn’t run this time 🙁

  4. May 7, 2012 / 6:31 am

    My husband and I were just discussing green olives and I have some leftover from my ropa vieja dish. I think I’ll make this some time this week.

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