I do not run for anyone. Not only do most of my shoes not allow it, but if I am totally honest I also find it rather tedious, and let’s face it, exhausting.
I am always happy however, to support friends running for charity in any way I can. Which is why this weekend I was delighted to welcome at Greedy Frog Towers two dear friends brave (and fit) enough to tackle the Great North Run.
The night before the race, I prepared this dish for them, with pasta for energy, plenty of vegetable goodness and lean protein in the form of turkey meatballs. It went down a treat!
They both finished the race and did amazingly well, raising a lot of money for Cancer Research in the process, and I am very proud of them.
You will need (for 6):
For the meatballs:
400 g turkey mince
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp dried sage
For the sauce:
2 large peppers
a handful mushrooms, chopped
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
500g pack pasta
1 small log goat’s cheese
1 tsp dried sage
Preheat your grill to medium-high. Grill the peppers on all sides until black and blistered, then place inside a plastic bag. Wrap this plastic bag into another one, then reserve until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, mix all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, and form into golf-ball size meatballs.
Heat up the olive oil in a large, deep pan. Gently fry the meatballs until golden on all sides. While the meatballs are cooking, peel, de-seed and dice the peppers. When the meatballs are well coloured, add the peppers and mushrooms to the pan, stir gently (taking care not to break the meatballs), and cook for 2 min more.
Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 min.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ Gas 6. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain. Butter a large ceramic or glass baking dish.
Spread a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish, and top with a layer of pasta. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. Slice the goat’s cheese, and distribute evenly on the dish. Sprinkle the sage, then bake for 15 to 20 min, or until the cheese slices start to take colour.
Serve with some fresh crusty bread.