Looking to lose weight, star restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich began running. And running. Now a marathoner, he stays energized with the recipes here.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015

As an owner of more than one dozen restaurants—including his flagship, New York City’s Babbo, which he co-owns with chef Mario Batali—it’s amazing that restaurateur Joe Bastianich has time to eat, let alone make wine and train for marathons. But over the past two years, he has lost an astonishing amount of weight (he won’t say exactly how much) by running on most days, alternating five-, seven- and nine-mile sessions. He even ran a half-marathon during a recent trip to Italy, where he visited his new Barolo property, Brandini La Morra.

To help stay energized for his workouts and his non-stop work schedule (he’ll open an Italian specialty food shop, Eataly, in Manhattan), Bastianich turns to complex carbohydrates. He starts his day with a honey-sweetened arborio rice pudding. Dinner might be a recipe inspired by his mother, chef Lidia Bastianich: white beans simmered with tomatoes and Swiss chard to make a satisfying stew.

“Beans are a real go-to for me,” he says. Still, Bastianich eats steaks and lardo often. “Running so much makes me worry about getting enough calories,” he explains.

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