5-Minute Meals: Quick-Prep Pastas - Backpacker

5-Minute Meals: Quick-Prep Pastas

You really want more granola? Get your carbs in a tasty, new way.
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Angel Hair Pasta with Olive Oil and Lemon


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of one-half lemon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 ounces angel hair pasta
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese

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At Home Mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese. Pack in a small Lexan container (ideal because oil won't sweat through the plastic). Break pasta strands in half and pack in zipper-lock bag for easy transport.

In Camp Boil pasta until al dente, about 5 minutes. Strain liquid from pot; stir in the oil-lemon mixture and half the Parmesan cheese. Put in bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serves two hungry hikers.

Raisin and Nut Curried Couscous


1 cup water
¾ cup couscous
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ cup mixed peanuts and raisins (or other dried nuts and fruits)
¼ teaspoon olive oil

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At Home Mix curry powder and cumin; carry in a small zipper-lock bag.

In Camp Boil water. Stir in couscous and fruit-nut combo. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand until grains are tender and all the liquid is absorbed (about 5 minutes). Add olive oil and spices; toss with a fork. Serves two. Hassle saver: Use a handful of nuts and fruit from your trail mix-just be sure to pick out any chocolate chips.

Fettuccine Puttanesca


2 tablespoons anchovy paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sugar
splash balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
12 ounces fettuccine pasta
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste

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At Home Mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese. Store sauce in a small container or zipper-lock bag; refrigerate until departure. The amount of sauce may seem small, but the anchovy paste and tomato paste will give it a concentrated flavor that goes long way. Note: Sauce will keep 1 day in warm climates, 2 days in cool climates, and longer if you freeze it before your trip.

In Camp Boil pasta until al dente, about 6 minutes. Strain; stir in sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper if desired. Serves two hungry hikers.

Mushroom and Tomato Orzo with Pesto


10 ounces orzo
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
6 dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon pine nuts
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional)

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In Camp Put mushrooms in 1.5-liter pot, fill it halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and tomatoes; cook until tender (about 6 minutes). Strain. Stir in pesto and pine nuts. Top with Parmesan cheese. Serves two. Tip: For extra flavor and crunch, roast pine nuts in a skillet over high heat, either in camp or before departure.

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