Pasta For Army Of Runners

South Carolina's Gov. Mark Sanford gestures as he fields questions from the media after announcing his appointment of Ken Wingate, right, to the state Tax Realignment Commission Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. Gov. Sanford will be leaving for a family vacation to Europe on Thursday, July 23, and will not return till Aug. 5th. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
Each year, New York City firefighters compete to have their original pasta dish served to New York Marathon runners at the event's pre-party. This year the general public will replace a panel of judges in voting for which dishes are served.

Firefighter chef and contest spokesman Joe Bonanno showcased some of the pastas for The Saturday Early Show's viewers and invited them to cast their voter online at www.ronzoni.com.

The competition's sponsor, Ronzoni, will also donate money to the NYC Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and the Widows' and Children's Fund for each vote cast.

According to Bonanno, viewers can vote in three different categories: hot pasta dish, cold pasta dish and baked pasta dish. Bonanno brought three dishes (Penne Rigate with Summer Vegetables, Pasta Salad with Bacon and Red Roasted Peppers and Cilantro Spinach Stuffed Shells) for The Saturday Early Show to taste.

The eight final recipes were selected for their originality, flavor, appearance, nutrition profile and ease of preparation.

In the end, the winner in each category will be served to over 15,000 runners — making it the world's largest pasta feast.

Ronzoni chose firemen to participate in the contest because they often cook for large groups who need a lot of energy — just like marathon runners.