When I first started writing years ago, backpacking and hiking were my focus, and TrailCooking and 4 of my cookbooks came out of that.
The best thing about these recipes is they translate to long-term food storage and meal storage easily. Since they are based on dried foods, you can easily pull together meals and store them in mason jars, sealing them for long-term storage. When you need them, pull them out and prepare. No need to buy overpriced MRE’s or commercially prepared freeze-dried meals. As a hiker, I have always kept a “hiker’s pantry”, which is essentially a go-to of bins of dried ingredients. Perfect for hiking, and also prepping for long-term storage. 10 years ago it was much harder to find reliable sources, now, Amazon makes it so easy to order from trusted places such as Harmony House Foods.
This recipe is a favorite of mine:
Tomato & Herb Pasta
Add to a wide-mouth pint mason jar:
- 4 ounces small pasta shapes (7 minutes or less cooking time)
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomato flakes
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
Add to a snack size bag:
- 1 packet broth concentrate (check your local store in the broth section for many choices)
- 1 packet olive oil
- 4 packets Parmesan cheese
Add the dry ingredients to a wide mouth mason jar, seal the packets in a snack size bag, place on top. Put a lid and band on, seal. Store in a dry and cool area, for up to a year. To keep ultra-fresh, consider using a FoodVac mason jar sealer for dry ingredients.
Bring 2 cups water to boil in your pot, add in pasta and tomatoes and broth and oil packets. Cook for time directed on pasta package, lowering flame on stove as needed to maintain a gentle boil, stirring often.
Take off stove, stir in garlic, oregano and 3 of the cheese packets, cover and let sit for a few minutes, top with last cheese packet.
Like it a bit spicier? Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
To make an instant version:
Precook a a few pounds of pasta. Cut off 2-3 minutes of cooking time, drain and rinse well, then shake off. Dry in a food dehydrator at 135-145°, until totally dry. It will look very similar to precooked at this point. Divide in 4 ounce servings, and proceed as above. To cook, just add boiling water to cover, and let sit, for 10 to 15 minutes to rehydrate. It works best if you insulate the pot or even mason jar, to retain the heat.
Precooked pasta is a huge game changer in food prep!