NOTE: I have changed this recipe so that it is a sauce that can be dehydrated and then served over any kind of pasta or even just scooped up with a piece of Naan. You can still use rotini, but start it rehydrating a good 15 minutes before you start rehydrating the sauce, as it takes a little while to soften up. Ramen noodles are a much faster substitute.
Here’s a recipe that is humming in the dehydrator and has made my kitchen smell so heavenly this morning! It’s a real winner as a backpack dinner and reasonable calorie density (about 3.3 cals/gram, 570 calories for a 3C serving if you are a big eater.) The recipe makes about 8C total.
Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Sauce with Goat Cheese Pasta Sauce
- 2C roasted red peppers and whole garlic cloves in olive oil. Purchase at the deli counter or make your own.
- 1 large onion
- 1 pint half and half
- 1T crumbled goats cheese (about 1 oz)
- 2t good coarse sea salt
- Spices to taste. This would be good with 1t of a zesty spice mix (including crushed red pepper and black pepper) or even a finely chopped red jalapeno. Or you could use fresh thyme and rosemary, or chopped fresh basil. Experiment!
To prep this recipe in your home kitchen:
Slice the onion and put into a dutch oven or large saucepan with the red peppers and whole garlic cloves. If there isn’t about 2T of oil that comes along with the peppers and garlic, add a little more olive oil. Let these cook together over medium heat until the onion begins to get soft, about 15 mins, stirring periodically. Pour in the half and half and bring barely to a boil. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Add the sea salt and goats cheese, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit on the stove for about a half hour for the flavors to combine. Then put the mixture into a blender or food rocessor and puree until the pieces are small and fairly uniform.
Spread the pureed pepper-garlic-goat cheese mixture onto separate dehydrator trays (~1C of each per serving). I use the solid plastic fruit leather trays for the cheese mixture, at least the first several hours, because it’s a bit runny. You can transfer to the mesh trays halfway through for faster drying if you have time. (You can also pre-cook and dehydrate whatever pasta you want to use with the sauce; I dehydrate and store them separately.)
On the dehydrator tray ready for drying. Approx 4C on the tray.
Spread the mixture on the tray, in a uniform layer no more than 1/2 inch thick. Run the dehydrator overnight and check the mixture for completeness of drying in the morning. If the mixture doesn’t crumble into dry pieces but feels slightly wet, break it up and re-spread it onto the mesh trays before you go to work. It will be ready for packaging when you get home. To package, pulse the dry mixture in the food processor to break up the chunks, and then measure out the dried servings into individual zip-loc bags based on your pre-drying measurements (how many servings went onto each tray). Make a little tag to go in the bag with what the food is, how many servings, and how much water to add back to each serving.
At camp, bring about 2C of water to a near-boil and pour it into your dehydrated pasta or ramen noodles, or bring the dehydrated pasta to a boil in your pot and allow it to bubble for 3-5 minutes. Then transfer the cooked pasta and just enough of the cooking water to the sauce to cover. Wrap in a cozy or aluminum foil to keep it hot (that will speed the rehydration), and wait about 5 minutes minutes. If it’s still a little crunchy, wait a bit longer. If it’s a bit too dry, you can add a bit more hot water. Then enjoy, right out of the bag, mug or pot! The recipe will provide 3-4 3C servings.
Calorie Planning Stats:
|Food||Serving (gms)||Serving (lbs)||Calories||Carbs (gms)||Fiber (gms)||Fat (gms)||Protein (gms)||Cals/Gm||% Nutritive Weight*||% Carbs||% Fats||% Protein|
|Roasted red peppers and garlic in olive oil – 1C||68||0.1||57||10||2||2||2||0.8||17%||66%||17%||17%|
|Half and half (8oz)||48||0.1||309||10||0||27||6||6.4||90%||22%||63%||15%|
|Rotini pasta (1C uncooked)||56||0.1||202||41||2||2||7||3.6||86%||81%||4%||15%|
|Combined meal (3C)||172||0.4||568||60||4||31||15||3.3||60%||55%||30%||15%|