Spring Training 2011 vs. St. Lawrence

On the first day of action, the Warhawks took on a French Canadian team from St Lawrence, Quebec at a very professional baseball complex at Lake Bonny. It was my first chance to see the team in action albeit the junior members of the squad, as it was a reserve game and did not count towards the teams regular season record. Nonetheless, it was also interesting for a London Met as St Lawrence is a club similar to our own and is not affiliated to a University as most teams for the 17-22 age group would be in the US.

The complex included three different diamonds and so we were able to conduct separate practices simultaneous batting, fielding, and pitching practices on each diamond. I even got a chance to throw some BP which was a humbling experience as I watched some balls take off into the trees beyond the confines of the field! I also saw a proper pregame warm-up before the actual game which the Warhawks eventually won.

At night back home it was my chance to show my hosts a taste of Europe, cooking the coaches a typical Apulian dish Spaghetti with Broccoli Rape. As promised and as will follow, I hereby include the recipe for this signature Italian dish.

(For 4 servings)

1lb package Spaghetti (Barilla, De Cecco, Davilla)

1 small white onion

1 clove garlic

2 anchovies (optional)

1 bunch of Broccoli Rape (Rapini or can be substituted with normal or tender stem Broccoli)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons of sea salt

Start trimming the Broccoli Rape which is essential done by discarding the tough part of the stems. You should be left with the leaves and rape flowers (cime di rape in Italian) but do not discard the whole stem as the parts near the leaves and flowers are tender enough to eat as well. When done by putting a pot of water over heat to boil. While the water is heating up, thinly chop both the onion and the garlic and heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions to the oil first and when translucent add the garlic until all is golden brown. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and reduce heat to medium. After two minutes, add the Broccoli Rape and the salt and allow all to cook together for another five minutes or until the Rape are tender. While waiting for the Pasta Rape mix to finish add the anchovies to the sauce mix and stir into the blend until the anchovies and oil fuse into a homogeneous liquid (the anchovies should not be discernible in the sauce). Drain the pasta and Rape when ready, return to pot, add the sauce and mix vigorously or until the ingredients seem evenly distributed. Serve and enjoy!

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