Spaghetti with Spinach and Homemade Marinara

Carbo-loading for a big run? This meal will do the trick!

On Friday, I was readying to run the Bayou City Classic 10k (which I unfortunately missed) and was looking for a good, healthy way to carb load without going out to our favorite Italian restaurant, George’s Pastaria (I was in desperate need of a homecooked meal after my 2 weeks in Austin). So, the hubby and I teamed up to make a huge batch of our marinara sauce to make a spaghetti dish worthy of carbo-loading!


2 cups of homemade marinara sauce (this time we made two modifications, simmering fresh oregeno in the sauce and adding fresh basil to the sauce near the end, we also doubled the recipe to make lots of leftovers)

4 cups of Barilla Plus Spaghetti (or your favorite pasta, this happens to be ours, best nutritional bang for the buck)

4 cups baby spinach

1 clove garlic

Parmesan shavings (optional)

~1 tbs olive oil for sauteing

First, start your pot boiling for your pasta and prepare pasta normally to the directions on the box. While this is occurring, heat up a bit of olive oil in a large saute pan and add spinach. Finely mince garlic clove and add it to the spinach. Be very careful to not burn the garlic, please stir frequently to prevent this from occurring. When the spinach is fully cooked and wilted, remove from heat and set aside. If you are using leftover marinara sauce, you’ll want to heat it up now too on the stove in a medium saucepan.


Place ~2 cups of pasta on plate topped with 1 cup of marinara sauce. Top this will half of the spinach and garnish with Parmesan shavings. Serve with bread for extra carbo-loading, we used a “take and bake” loaf from Kroger (very yummy by the way!). Serves 2

Nutrition (without bread):

~515 cal

5 g fat

89 g carb

13 g fiber

27 g protein