This classic Italian dish contains the perfect ingredients to fuel your running legs.
In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the onion, garlic, thyme and egg, and season well. With wet hands, take a golf ball-sized amount of the mixture and form a tight ball. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture and made 16 meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, make the sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan and adding the onions, cooking until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour in the tinned tomatoes plus 200ml of water, followed by the herbs and brown sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan, then add the meatballs, browning on all sides for ten minutes over a medium heat. Once the meatballs are brown, pour over the tomato sauce and cover. Leave to cook for 30 minutes on a low heat.
While the meatballs are simmering, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the pappardelle pasta and cook as instructed on the pack. Drain when cooked.
To serve, spoon the pappardelle into a dish, topping with the meatballs and sauce.
Preparation: 20 minutes to prepare, plus chilling
Cooking: 1 hour
For the meatballs
• 500g lean minced beef • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp thyme, chopped • 1 egg • 1 tsp olive oil • Salt and pepper
For the sauce
• 1 tsp olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 garlic clove, chopped • 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes • 1 sprig of thyme • 1 bay leaf • 1rosemary stalk • 1 tsp brown sugar • 200g dried pappardelle • 2 tbsp chives, chopped • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
This perfect pre-race meal will top up your iron and carbohydrate stores, leaving you raring to go at the start line. Delivering two-thirds of the recommended daily allowance of zinc and half the recommended daily allowance of selenium, your immune system will also get a boost while you fuel up.