During the year we participate in several various athletic events.  This past weekend we did a triathlon with our husbands and friend Elske.  This involves a swim, a bike and a run. Here we are, at the finish, with Elske in the middle.

Heading into the lake for the swim-

Transitioning from swim to bike-

Finally the run-

One of our rituals the night before any of these events is a carbo loading meal.  We wanted to share our favorite with you.  It’s a Rachel Ray pasta dish that we have slightly modified.  Here is the original recipe.

Spaghetti alla Ceci


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 3 turns of the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can, chickpeas (14 ounces), drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme, eyeball it
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 can, crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Grated Parmiginao Reggiano, to pass at table


Boil water for pasta, salt it, and cook spaghetti to al dente.

While spaghetti cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic. Place chickpeas in food processor and pulse grind them to a fine chop. Add chickpeas to garlic and season them with thyme, salt and pepper then sauté them for 3-4 minutes. Add wine or broth and cook down 30 seconds or so then stir in tomatoes and adjust seasoning. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Top with parsley and grated cheese.


In place of spaghetti, we like to use any pasta that will hold the sauce.  The dish could use more sauce, so we use a can of Rotel Original diced tomatoes in place of the red pepper flakes.  And we always use the white wine.  With the rest of the wine, we allow ourselves one glass of wine 12 hours prior to our events.  Or, as we call it, our “12 hours bottle to throttle” glass of wine.

Picture courtesy Elske Parker

Serve with garlic bread and salad (and ice cream).

Stay tuned for our next post – upholstering class week 2.