Tuesday, August 9, 2016

High Altitude Meatballs & Marinara Sauce

If you're a runner and a foodie, you might be interested to learn that top American marathoner Shalane Flanagan's cookbook, Run Fast. Eat Slow., is finally available for purchase! My copy is yet to arrive (Amazon pre-order!) but I've been eagerly checking out the recipes that have been published online and in magazines these past few weeks to promote the new book. 

One of my all time favorite foods is spaghetti so I decided to try Shalane's High Altitude Meatballs & Marinara Sauce recipe over the weekend. The result did not disappoint - it was a mega flavorful meal that was also super simple to prepare. Just the thing to make for a night before a long run or race meal!

High Altitude Meatballs & Marinara Sauce
Serves 4-6
Recipe from Run Fast, Eat Slow

For the Meatballs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup finely minced kale (I substituted spinach)
1/4 almond meal or breadcrumbs (I used breadcrumbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 lb bison or ground beef (I used ground beef)
1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine egg, Parmesan cheese, kale/spinach, almond meal/breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, salt and crushed red pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the bison/ground beef and use your hands to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. From the mixture, create 12-16 meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Carefully add the meatballs in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (you may need to cook the meatballs in two batches). Cook and turn the meatballs until they are browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

For the Marinara Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In the same pot that you cooked the meatballs, add the garlic and cook over medium heat. Stir continuously to make sure the garlic does not brown. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and allow to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes (I simmered the sauce for about 30 minutes), until the sauce thickens. 

For Serving
12oz dried spaghetti, cooked al dente
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh basil

To serve your pasta, add 2-3oz cooked spaghetti to a plate or bowl. Top with 2-3 meatballs and a ladle of sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil. 

Tell me: What do you eat the night before a long run or race?

- ST


  1. That does look good. I am horrible at eating right. I don't eat like I used to but I defiantly don't count my calories or limit myself to certain healthy foods. I have no set night before long run food type.

    1. Thanks Bob! I think part of it is routine. I find the better I can stick with one, the better my eating is. Otherwise I tend to do things like eat cookies for dinner ;)

  2. I did not know Shalane had a cookbook. Very cool! I love cook books and will read them cover to cover but rarely make anything from them. Odd I know!

    1. I love reading cookbooks, too! Shalane's is a really good one so I recommend checking it out. I think she announced yesterday that the e-book version is available for like $3.99.

  3. I just came across their bison burger recipe. I'd like to try the meatballs with kale in them, too!

    1. I've never cooked with bison but would try the burger recipe with grassfed beef! :) The meatballs are great - I would like to try them with kale next, too.

  4. I always love your recipes, which are great! I actually like spaghetti. Thank your sharing! ^^

    1. Thanks! I love spaghetti, too. I could eat it every day :)