Why it works: Carbohydrates are important to replenish energy stores. The Mayo Clinic endorses pasta as good source of carbs for post-workout recovery—but don’t overdo it on the noodles. Eat about a cup-and-a-half of pasta so that there’s room for the protein and vitamins needed to help with recovery and refueling for another day on the trails. Dave Wiens, six-time winner of the Leadville Trails 100 MTB mountain bike race, whips up a mean Spaghetti alla Puttanesca for dinner during hard blocks of training. “The kind where I’m riding hard for consecutive days,” he says. To balance the meal, Weins makes sure to add salad and mix in some sort of protein. “My favorite is to add prosciutto. Occasionally I’ll make it with chicken or make it without meat and have a small piece of fresh caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon or a tenderloin or rib steak on the side,” says Wiens.
The Recipe: Dave Wien’s Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
5 tbsp olive oil
Garlic (As much as you like and chopped as you like. Wiens uses a whole bulb and doesn’t like to chop it too fine.)
Onions as you like
Crushed dried chili as you like, for heat
Anchovy Paste as you like
2 fresh, or a 12oz can, of chopped tomatoes
½ -1 cup halved or quartered black olives
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp capers
Prosciutto or meat to suit
Fresh ground parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese to top
Pasta shape of your choosing
Sautee garlic, onion and chili in olive oil until golden in cast iron skillet. Add anchovy paste, tomatoes, olives, capers and tomato paste. Continue stirring over medium heat. Get your pasta cooked just right, we like it al dente, of course. Mix the pasta into the sauce and cook for a couple more minutes and serve hot. We like it with fresh ground black pepper and grated cheese. I’ll usually complement this meal with a Blue Paddle from New Belgium Brewery, but occasionally I’ll have a Moretti or a Peroni for authenticity.