Fuel up for the Marathon with hearty, healthy meals - The Boston Globe (2024)


Pizzoccheri is a regional specialty of Lombardy, in northern Italy, that pairs buckwheat pasta with cabbage, potatoes, melty mountain cheese, and an abundance of butter. It inspired this recipe, but we use leafy-green Swiss chard, a generous dose of fresh sage, and both lemon zest and juice to create a one-pot wonder that is lighter and fresher than pizzoccheri yet still hearty. We also think it’s one of the best uses of whole-wheat pasta.

Get Globe Magazine

An engaging blend of award-winning narrative journalism, opinion, lifestyle, travel, recipes, and advice.

When prepping the chard, thinly slice the stems and cut the leaves crosswise into thin ribbons. The greens are added to the pasta partway through cooking and the stems are sautéed in butter with the aromatics, so make sure to reserve them separately. If you like, add 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed, along with the garlic and sage.

1pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 pound whole-wheat linguine or fettuccine, broken into 2-inch lengths


1 large bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems thinly sliced, leaves sliced crosswise about ½-inch thick, reserved separately

6tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh sage

4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice

8ounces fontina or Gruyére cheese, shredded (2 cups)

2ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 cup), divided

In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, combine 4 quarts water, the potatoes, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring once or twice, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a bowl; set aside.

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente and the chard is tender, another 5 minutes. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain in a colander and set aside.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown with a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Add the chard stems, sage, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and the chard stems begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the potatoes, the pasta-chard mixture, lemon zest and juice, and 1½ cups reserved cooking water. Stir in the fontina and half of the Parmesan. Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is silky, 3 to 4 minutes; stir in more reserved pasta cooking water as needed to thin. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan.


Fuel up for the Marathon with hearty, healthy meals - The Boston Globe (1)

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Stew

Makes 4 servings

This hearty stew of sweet potatoes and quinoa was inspired by the Peruvian dish called quinua atamalada. Use quinoa of any color, and be sure to cook it to a creamy, risotto-like consistency; it should not be dry and fluffy.

While true atamalada uses Peruvian chilies, this recipe incorporates Mexican canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, which we always keep on hand because they’re a terrific way to add chili heat, along with smoky flavor and a touch of tanginess.

Peruvian salsa criolla, a simple relish of lime-steeped sliced onion and chopped cilantro, is a perfect embellishment that brings sharp, fresh flavor and crisp texture to the stew; if you wish to try it, see the recipe that follows.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

1½pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

¾ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (see headnote)

Crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco, to serve

Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve

Lime wedges, to serve

Peruvian Salsa Criolla, optional, to serve


In a Dutch oven set over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce, then cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to stick to the pot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the sweet potatoes, followed by the tomatoes with juices, the broth, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then stir in the quinoa, cover, and reduce to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until both the sweet potatoes and quinoa are tender, about 30 minutes. The stew should be creamy and slightly saucy; if it is too thick, add hot water as needed to thin it. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve sprinkled with feta and cilantro, and with lime wedges and Peruvian Salsa Criolla on the side.

Peruvian Salsa Criolla

Makes about 1½ cups

½ medium red onion (thinly sliced)

1/3cup lightly packed fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 tablespoons lime juice

Kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir together the onion, cilantro, lime juice, and æ teaspoon kosher salt.

Fuel up for the Marathon with hearty, healthy meals - The Boston Globe (2)

Spanish Rice With Vegetables and Saffron

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Arroz de la huerta, the Spanish name of this dish, translates rather poetically as rice from the vegetable garden. Fresh artichokes are a common addition, but we keep our version simple and accessible and use fresh vegetables that are easier to prep: alliums, tomatoes, cauliflower, and baby spinach.

Here, we opt for plum tomatoes over regular, round tomatoes, as they contain less moisture than round tomatoes and are the better choice for this dish. And while the quantity of spinach might sound excessive, the leaves will easily combine with the rice mixture once wilted.


Saffron lends a golden hue to the grains and suffuses it with an aroma and flavor that is so very Spanish. We like the deeper, richer taste of the rice made with chicken broth, but if you wish to keep the dish vegetarian, vegetable broth works perfectly well.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

¼teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1cup Arborio rice

12 ounces ripe plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

8 ounces cauliflower, chopped into rough ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

¼teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

5-ounce container baby spinach, roughly chopped

In a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, and cayenne (if using), then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice followed by the tomatoes, cauliflower, and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Stir in the broth and saffron, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Uncover the skillet and scatter the spinach evenly over the rice mixture. Re-cover and let stand just until the spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Stir the spinach into the rice mixture until fully wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat, cover with a kitchen towel and the lid, then let stand for about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.

Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

Fuel up for the Marathon with hearty, healthy meals - The Boston Globe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

Last Updated:

Views: 5985

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

Birthday: 1994-08-17

Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

Phone: +8524399971620

Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.