Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis
  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (you can omit this if you want to be kind to plane people)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (dried works well in a pinch)

Cool the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

© Giada De Laurentiis/

Kid-friendly? Nothing could be better than penne that fits on your kids finger to keep them entertained on the road. It’s not a dripping sauce, so you don’t have to worry about too many spills or splatters. It does have olive oil in it though, so it is not entirely mess free. It is something the adults can enjoy too though.

Travel tip: Like the Quinoa Salad, you can toss some pasta in a bag and hit the road. It takes up less space in a bag or cooler and can be eaten directly from the bag in a pinch.