Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Backpacking Meal: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

I really enjoyed everything about this backpacking meal.  Sometimes prepping backpacking meals (that are actually good) can be exhausting.  Even though this still involves a dehydrator, it is a super easy thing to dehydrate. 

And it is totally not spaghetti.  It is angel hair pasta.  But somehow spaghetti sounds better.

Eating pasta with store bought sauce is one of those meals we eat at home when either I am not around to make something better or I am too busy to make something better.  It is one of the meals Scot has mastered.  However, eating it on a backpacking trip...totally gourmet.  

After several backpacking trips of carrying ridiculous things like 3 family size cans of tomato soup, I decided quickly that we needed to massively minimize weight.  And use my brain.  And not carry cans of soup.  Ever again.

So, I have been dehydrating meals, fruits, etc.  And it makes such a difference.  I love dehydrated fruits.  We have lots of favorites including pears, apples, peaches, pineapple (canned), and strawberries.  

All you do for this meal is dehydrate marinara sauce (store bought or homemade).  When the sauce dehydrates, it turns into sauce leathers.  Then, on the trail all you have to do is rehydrate the leathers and cook the pasta.  

This meal is my favorite so far because it is so easy and tastes so good out in the wilderness.  The only slight problem some hardcore backpackers may have is that it isn't super low fuel.  You have to boil the pasta for about 3-4 minutes.  However, I am not hardcore.   Obviously.  

We had this meal on a recent backpacking trip to the Sand Dunes.  It was wicked hot.  And I ate about as much sand as I did spaghetti.  And my poor dog will be sleeping for weeks.  He is so tired.  Running up and down Sand Dunes is hard.  And there was no choice.  How can you resist?  

Also, he is pretty cute.

Backpacking Meal: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

1 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce (or 3 cups homemade)—choose one low in fat
1 lb angel hair pasta
grated parmesan cheese, to taste

At home: Dehydrate the marinara sauce. To do this, cover a dehydrator tray with plastic wrap (even if you are using leather tray). Pour out the sauce onto the plastic wrap in one thin layer (one tray worked perfectly for me). Dehydrate at 130° F for about 24 hours or until the sauce is leathery but not at all wet. Sauces that are lower in fat will dehydrate better.

After dehydrating, pull apart leather into small pieces and place in re-sealable plastic bag.

In a separate bag, place angel hair pasta broken into thirds. And put the grated parmesan in a third bag.

On the trail: Boil 3 cups of water. Place sauce leather pieces in a bowl (preferably one with a cover or that can easily be covered) and pour boiling water over leathers. Let soak, stirring occasionally until leathers dissolve.

Using your biggest pot, fill with water leaving one inch of room at the top. Boil. Add pasta and cook 3-4 minutes or until al dente.

Drain pasta. Top with marinara sauce and grated parmesan.

(Servings: 3-4, Prep time: 24 hours, Cook time: 20 min., Difficulty: Easy)


  1. What beautiful photos...such breathtaking landscape! I am not a big camper, but if I did venture out into the wild, I would want you to come along with me!