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Pasta and Tomato Sauce

(recipe, Jennifer Kelly-Dewitt)


This make-ahead recipe for dehydrated pasta sauce is adapted from one in [%bookLink code=0394707745 "The Hungry Hiker’s Book of Good Cooking"], by Gretchen McHugh. Read more about cooking on the trail in Jennifer Kelly-Dewitt's "Backpacker's delight."


  1. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  2. ½ onion, minced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp. salt
  5. 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced, or ½ tsp. dried
  6. 2 tsp. fresh basil, minced, or ¾ tsp. dried
  7. 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. 1 lb. pasta, preferably a compact variety such as spaghetti
  10. ⅓ cup dried mushrooms, such as porcini
  11. ½ cup grated Parmesan


  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the salt, oregano, and basil, and cook for a minute before adding the tomato paste. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes and season with pepper.
  2. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over a single dehydrator drying rack. Use a rubber spatula to spread the sauce evenly over the plastic; the sauce should be spread about ⅛-inch thick. Repeat for as many racks as you have sauce. Dry the sauce until it is leathery and requires effort to tear. Wrap well in plastic to store.
  3. On the trail, boil the pasta. When the pasta is about halfway done cooking, add the mushrooms; when the pasta is nearly al dente, add the sauce leather and stir vigorously. The sauce will reconstitute using the remaining cooking water. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve. No draining required!