Mother Earth Monday – Trail Pasta

While I am dedicating so much of my time and attention to the Iron Game Chef competition, I am going to have a light posting for each of the three days this week. Today is a delicious recipe for anyone who might like backpacking. It is light weight, packs small and tastes wonderful. Two small zip-lock bags should be all you need outside of the ingredients themselves.


  • boxed couscous
  • 1 / 4 Cup of beef gravel.
  • 1 Cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 / 2 Cup of Parmesan

Directions Before Hiking

  1. Use a dehydrator to dry the spaghetti sauce into a ‘fruit leather’ consistency.
  2. Fold and place in a zip-lock bag with the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Combine the unpackaged couscous and beef gravel into the second bag and place the first bag inside of this one as well. If the couscous came with mix, do not include it.

Directions On The Trail

  1. Separate the two bags.
  2. Determine roughly how much volume the couscous and beef will take in your pot and then fill it roughly 3 / 4 of this depth.
  3. Bring to a boil and add the couscous/beef blend.
  4. Stir frequently until soft. Add water as needed.
  5. Do not drain off liquid. Instead, pull out the spaghetti sauce leather and tear into small pieces.
  6. Add these to the water and stir until they dissolve. If Parmesan is on the leather, this won’t hurt anything.
  7. Once the sauce has formed, sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and enjoy.

This is surprisingly good. The texture is slightly different than if you had long spaghetti noodles, but the flavor is pretty much the same and every bit as good as if you had made it fresh at home. It can be real comfort food on a longer hike and it takes very little to make. If you don’t want to bother boiling and can spare the time, just heat the water to hot and pour combine everything but the Parm. Insulate it by wrapping it with some spare clothes or your sleeping bag and let it go. In thirty minutes or so, it should be just as good. It will vary slightly depending on how hot the water was and how good the insulation is. Either way, it is a very easy and tasty meal.

What are your thoughts?

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