Pesto Noodles is not normally competitive with Beans & Rice or Thai Peanut Noodles for a group’s favorite dinner recipe, but it is a reliable third or fourth option in my backpacking cook book. And it’s certainly not to be overlooked: I’ve probably eaten more Pesto Noodles this summer than any other meal, because it’s still that good.
- Recommended meal weight: 5.7 oz
- Total calories: 790
- Caloric density: 139 calories/ounce
To increase the caloric density, which is already very high, add more olive oil or Noodles (which are fried).
- 3.0 oz || Ramen noodles
- 0.75 oz || Olive oil
- 1.0 oz || Parmesan
- 0.75 oz || Sun-dried tomatoes
- 0.1 oz || Garlic
- 0.1 oz || Basil
- Universal spice kit
For extra goodness, drop in some chunks of salami, beef jerky, or similar.
Discard the MSG-loaded seasoning packet in the bag of noodles, either at home or in the field.
For single-servings, all ingredients should be bagged together, except for the Parmesan — keep that separate. I store the olive oil in a 16-oz Platypus Soft Bottle, inside of a gallon-sized plastic bag for extra protection.
In a group setting, each group member receives their own ration of noodles, and all of the other ingredients (Parmesan, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices) are packaged separately. Divide them in the field. Store the olive oil in 16- or 32-oz Platypus bottles, or hard-sided Nalgene bottles if weight is less of a concern; either way, keep the bottle in a gallon-sized plastic bag.
I prefer soupy meals. But for perfect at-home consistency:
- Bring 10 oz of water to a boil, or a near-boil
- Add all ingredients, save for the Parmesan; the seasoning packet should be discarded. Stir and let reconstitute. No simmer is needed, but a longer soak will help soften up leathery sun-dried tomatoes.
- Once the ingredients have cooked and the pot has been removed from the stove, add the Parmesan. Unless you want a gooey cheese mess in your pot, do not jump the gun on the Parmesan.
- Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.