London marathon: the perfect pre-race evening meal – recipe

Comforting yet light on the stomach, this delicious and highly nutritious low GI pasta dish is perfect for fuelling up during the days before an event. With 97 grams of carbohydrate per serving, plus excellent levels of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, fibre, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids, it will boost your system to supercharge your race.

Nutrition per serving
Energy (kcal): 450
Protein (g): 22
Carbohydrate (g): 97
Fat (g): 12.8
Of which sugars (g): 8
Of which saturates (g): 4
Salt (g) 0.9
Fibre (g) 7.4

Serves 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 20 minutes
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into cubes
400g rigatoni
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced very finely
8 slices pancetta
1 tsp fresh thyme (the leaves of about 3 sprigs)
2 tbsp half-fat creme fraîche
Salt and black pepper
Grated parmesan to taste

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the butternut squash and cook until very tender.

2. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile bring another large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni according to pack instructions until al dente.

4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and very gently saute the garlic for a few minutes until soft. Remove the garlic and add to the butternut squash.

5. Add the pancetta to the frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and rest on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.

6. Keep the heat very gentle and add the butternut squash and garlic to the frying pan, then the thyme, the crème fraiche and a little freshly ground black pepper. Mash it all up with a fork until you have a creamy mash.

7. When the rigatoni is cooked, drain it, reserving a good ladleful of the cooking water and then add the pasta and the cooking water to the butternut squash sauce. Stir it all together and then serve on warmed pasta dishes with 2 slices of pancetta laid on top of each serving, a few more sprinklings of fresh thyme and some grated parmesan

Kate Percy is author of Go Faster Food and Go Faster Food for Kids. Kate’s latest ebook, FuelSmart for Race Day is available at a special pre-marathon discount of 99p (rrp £3.99). Follow Kate Percy on Twitter @gofasterfood.

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