One of the reasons we love dehydrating our own meals is how easy it becomes to add fresh vegetables to almost anything. This would be just a simple pasta dish if we purchased it as a pre-packed meal, but by dehydrating it ourselves we can add heaps of fresh spinach and bright little bites of artichoke hearts.
Dehydrating leafy greens is easy and relatively quick (by dehydrating standards). For this recipe, we went with a few handfuls of baby spinach. It’s not totally necessary, but we went the extra step and removed all of the stems from the leaves.
To add a little brightness to the dish, we used a can of artichoke hearts that have been marinated in a brine of salt, water, vinegar and citric acid. You will want to avoid using artichoke hearts that have been marinated in any type of oil (a few brands are) as the oil will inhibit the dehydration process.
After all the veggies are dehydrated, we combine them into a reusable Stasher bag. We then add in the pasta. For this recipe, we really wanted the toothsome bite you get with thicker fettuccine noodles. However, it does take more time to cook on-site. If you’re going for straight speed and fuel economy, then the much thinner angel hair pasta is the way to go. But we wanted fettuccine, so that’s what we used. Finally, we added in our alfredo sauce powder.
At camp, empty the contents into your pot and flatten out the noodles so they lay flat. Add water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Leave uncovered and stir noodles to keep from sticking to the bottom. As the noodles cook, they will release starch into the water, which will bind with the sauce.
If you’re looking for a simple dehydrating recipe to get started, this creamy spinach and artichoke alfredo might be for you.
Backpacking Spinach Artichoke Fettuccine
Yield: 2 servings
Dehydrating time: 5 to 8 hours
Cook time: 12-minutes
Dried weight: 5 ounces per serving
- 3 artichoke hearts (packaged in brine, not oil)
- 2 ounces baby spinach
- 8 ounces fettuccine noodles
- 1.6-ounce packet Alfredo sauce mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain the artichoke hearts and chop in ¼” pieces. Spread the artichoke hearts and washed, dried baby spinach on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 135°F for 5-8 hours, until the artichokes are completely dried.
Divide the dehydrated vegetables between two resealable bags or containers along with 4 oz fettuccine per serving and half the alfredo sauce mix per serving. Pack the olive oil in a separate container.
In camp, add the contents of the bag to a cook pot along with ~12 ounces of water per serving (enough to cover the pasta). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to12 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked through and the sauce has thickened, adding more water if necessary. Stir frequently to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil per serving and stir.