One Pot Pasta – Backpacking Version

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This is the dinner I prepared yesterday on the Appalachian Trail.  This recipe started as an idea from Martha Stewart, and then was modified to add meat to make it a more substantial meal, and last was modified to be suitable for backpacking.  These last adaptations involved preparing ingredients at home to minimize time and equipment in camp, and dehydrating and vacuum sealing ingredients to reduce weight and increase their shelf life.  It made 4 servings.


12 oz. salami

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

¼ cup tomato paste

¼ cup sliced dried mushrooms

12 oz. elbow macaroni

1 package fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 tsp. salt

4-1/2 cups water

6 oz. Italian blend cheese, grated


At home cut the salami into quartered slices and place the pieces in a vacuum seal bag and seal them.

Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil. When translucent, put into a dehydrator. Also dehydrate the cherry tomatoes and the tomato paste. The tomato paste will look like fruit leather. When dehydrated, put the onions, garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste with the salt into a vacuum seal bag and seal them. Separately dehydrate the basil since it needs to be done at a lower temperature than the vegetables. Put the dried basil in a small baggie.

This is what all the prepared and bagged ingredients look like.



At camp, saute the salami until browned. Pour off the fat from the pan. Add about 4 cups of water to the pan, add the vegetables and the basil and bring to a boil. Stir the pan to break up the vegetables and to speed up their rehydration. Add the macaroni. Stir frequently, adding more water as needed and taking care that the food does not stick to the bottom of the pan. After boiling for about 9 minutes, the pasta should be done. Serve with Italian cheese.


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