Favorite Things Friday

This Friday, I just have one favorite thing for you – my favorite meal to eat the night before races and long runs.  You probably know by now that the standard night before long run or race meal is usually pasta.  I love pasta.  We didn’t eat it very frequently in our house until I finally started making my own pasta sauce.  I don’t know why I didn’t attempt it sooner because now it’s a staple in our dinner line-up.

I first made this sauce last Winter when hubby was very sick and requested pasta with a light homemade sauce.  Hmm…it was time to experiment.  Since the first time I made it, it has evolved and hubby says it’s even more delicious every time I make it.  Zain is a huge fan too!

Here’s how I make it (makes enough for 4-6 people):

I use my favorite pot – my Staub dutch oven.  I love that thing.  I use it all the time.

Cannot live without my Staub!


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 finely chopped yellow onions

Lots of tomatoes, finely chopped.  I use a variety of tomatoes because that give the sauce the best flavor.  I usually use 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, about 10 plum tomatoes, about 4 Roma tomatoes, and 4-6 brown Kumato tomatoes.  I chop all my tomatoes ahead of time and put them in a container with some paper towels to absorb their excess moisture.  Without doing so, the sauce can get too watery.

Garlic – as much as you like.  We love garlic in our house so I usually use 3-4 cloves.

Fresh herbs – basil, parsley and oregano, chopped

Juice of one lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste


Italian Sausage



Yellow Squash

Anything else you want to add!

Variation #1: With mushrooms

Variation #2: With yellow squash and Italian sausage

Variation #3: With artichokes and mushrooms

This sauce is very simple, but so flavorful.  The first part of ingredients are the basic things you need to make a delicious tomato sauce.  Once you have that, you can add so many different things to change the flavor or add extra vegetables.

It’s super easy to make.  The part that takes the longest is prepping all the ingredients.  I usually do that during Zain’s nap time so I can just through everything in the pot when I’m ready.

To make the sauce:

Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot, then add the onions.  Sauté onions until they’re translucent and just starting to get golden.  If you’re going to add mushrooms and/or yellow squash, add them now.  Allow them to cook for a few minutes then add your tomatoes.  If you like a lighter garlic flavor, add it at the same time as your tomatoes.  I use a garlic press to add mine, but you can also chop it.  If you prefer a stronger garlic taste, add it closer to the end.  If you’re going to add Italian sausage, add it now (we like all natural spicy Italian chicken sausage).

Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes cook down a bit.  If you’re going to add artichokes, add them now.  Add the fresh herbs and lemon juice and allow the sauce to simmer for about another 10 minutes.  This would be a good time to boil water in a separate pot and make your pasta.  We like whole wheat pasta.


Healthy, simple and delicious.  Feel free to add some freshly grated parmesan before serving.

I have another 18 mile run on the schedule for tomorrow.  Can you guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? :)

Happy running and have a great weekend!


  1. says

    YUM!! i really want to make my own sauce, so I was so excited you posted this! I am making a pre-race dinner tonight too & have sauce cooking already, but it’s not from scratch…although I did add to it. Thank you!

  2. says

    My dutch oven is also one of my favorite things, and I have been planning to write a blog post about that soon, too … I swear I’m not copying you …

    • kristen says

      Hehe, I know you’re not copying :). You make so much amazing food, I bet you make some really delicious stuff in your dutch oven!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

CommentLuv badge