27 July 2009

Ultra Cooking

So there I was in the kitchen practically the whole Sunday afternoon cooking one of the universal food of runners regardless of shapes, colors and distance - PASTA.

That morning, I went to the market accompanied by my son Nathan. I did not know what came over him but he volunteered to help. He sheepishly said: "Papa, can I come?" As soon as they heard it, his sisters looked at him in disbelief. I caught that fleeting glint in his eyes which warned me of things to come. More on this later.

So what did THEY have for lunch? Shrimp linguine in crushed tomatoes with fresh parsley and parmesan. (I had another dish in my mind).

Italian-style. The tricks (aside from the obvious fresh ingredients) in preparing this dish are (1) Make sure to squeeze the substance out of the heads of shrimps when preparing them, (2) Do not overcook the shrimps, (3) Thicken the sauce by letting it boil for several minutes ... without the shrimps, and (4) Add a dash of chilli flakes when cooking the sauce. (I do not know but it helps to bring out the rich taste of the tomatoes.) When thick, the sauce will deliciously stick to the linguine (never wash it in cold water after boiling!). I would like also to have generous amount of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in it to give it a rich taste.

My daughter always eats a big full plate of this and she is only 9 years old! That serving is more than I can consume even the night before a race.

So what was the other dish?

I had been craving for this dish for the past few days. So on top of the shrimp linguine, I decided to do ultra cooking. The result was angel hair pasta with clams in white wine sauce. I bought 2 kinds of clams and sauteed them in white wine to give that unique subtle taste and smell to it. The tricks in this are (1) Buy only fresh shellfish, and (2) Do not overcook the clams.

Lots of EVOO and garlic and sprinkled with fresh parsley and generous amount of parmesan cheese at the end, the result was a simple comfort dish but exquisitely and gastronomically wondeful! Paired it with white wine, heavenly!

So back to my Nathan. I knew I had it coming but I said yes to him so he will learn at this early stage to appreciate food more, how it is prepared and where to go to buy the ingredients. Just barely 15 minutes in the market, he yanked my shirt and whispered into my ear: "Toys, please". :)


  1. I love clams, but not before a long run (like at the botak42), I felt sluggish afterwards. What are those, ala Mario Vitali's?

  2. I suddenly felt hungry after reading this and the only pasta I could find was a cold leftover styro of Jollibee spaghetti. Oh well...beggars can't be choosers.

  3. I'm fasting today and I picked the wrong time to visit your blog! Sounds so good right now. Well there's another activity you can engage in until more ultras come your way.

  4. Vener - Nothing fancy. Just plain homemade cooking with lots of love into it :)

  5. Jay - That Jollibbe spaghetti was better than nothing at all :)

    Rick - Yup, you picked the wrong time. Haha. Why do you fast anyway? You have another 100 miler in 2 weeks!

  6. can't wait to get another bowl of your great pasta, let's schedule another loooong run.

  7. Billy - By all means. Speaking of long run, you have your 42K this coming October. Good luck dude!

  8. Yummy!

    Shrimp can be a very good source of potassium that can help support nerve and muscle health, as well as cell fluid balance.

    Nice post. God bless.

  9. Wrong idea to visit your blog at 3am. WRONG.