Food For the Field is a recurring feature on PastaRun Music. My work has me travelling away from home (and kitchen) during the week, and I am trying to save money and eat better by preparing meals at home that I can bring with me into the field. Staying in your standard hotel room, I don’t have access to a kitchen while I’m away, so it’s important that the meals I bring with me require very little preparation once I leave my home. They also have to hold up for 5 days without turning to mush. As I search for recipes online and from friends, I’ve set up 3 simple rules to help guide me on my quest to find quality food for the field. 

3 Simple Rules:

  • Easy to make and requiring little to no preparation after cooking
  • Travels well in a cooler or thermos into the field on hot summer days 
  • Healthful and nutritious for strenuous activity in the heat 

All you need for this recipe are 6 simple ingredients, two of which you most likely have in your pantry already. It’s easy to make, especially if you don’t mind using store-bought pesto, and tastes like summer. The fresh ingredients work well together and taste good whether you serve the dish hot or cold. The only thing I’ll add is you’ll most likely want to sprinkle some cracked black pepper on top or you may find it a little bland (even more so if you plan to eat it for lunch all week as I do). 

Let’s get into it…

Penne with Pesto & Green Beans


  • Salt
  • 1/2 lb Small Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 lb Slender Green Beans, stems trimmed
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 cup Pesto
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil


  1. Wash the vegetables and slice the red potatoes to about 1/4″ thickness

  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil

  5. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes

  7. Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes more, until both are tender, but not soft

  9. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the green beans and potatoes to a serving dish

  11. Return the water to a rolling boil, add the penne, and cook until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water prior to draining the pasta.

  13. Add the pasta to the vegetables, stir in the pesto sauce, adding the olive oil and cooking water until the sauce is the proper consistency. 

  15. Voilà


About The Author

Ross Owen
Co-Founding Editor

Ross Owen’s background changes with each step he takes. Ross is constantly looking at stories from new angles – offering a fresh take on issues you might overlook at first glance. A graduate of Boston University, his site-design of in 2012 garnered him an induction into the CS103 Hall of Fame.

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