This tortellini dish is easily flavored with pesto, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan. An easy way to feed a small Backpacking group or double the recipe for a large group.
‘Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.’ -Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Backpacking is going in. Going into nature, the backcountry, a wonderful place that may surprise you but will never disappoint.
Nature changes you, heals you, soothes you. That is why I love to go in.
I also revel in ‘trail magic’. Trail magic is a phenomena I have only witness on the trail or anytime a group of people have overcome something difficult together and ‘magic happens’. It is when people go out of their way to serve you. Giving away one’s personal possessions to strangers just because they could use them or having a friend cook a home made meal at a trail junction for your group. It is through times like these that I feel we are all connected in some way. Barriers are broken, walls are down. Many individuals become one, like the Borg, but nicer. And yes, resistance is futile.
Today I share with you Mikes recipe from our last trip in the Cascades. This was cooked on our last night and was a gourmet delight that we looked forward to. All of the food is amazing on Mikes trips, that’s why we stalk his trips and sign up for them.
If you are new to backpacking or just need some good ideas, you may be interested in this article on backpacking gourmet. Good luck, have fun and happy trails.
‘I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.’
A backcountry nutritious and hearty meal that will lift your spirits, warm your body and fuel your muscles.
- 20 oz shelf stable tortellini
- 3 oz sun-ripened dried tomatoes
- 3.5 oz pesto + 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 2.5 oz pine nuts
- parmesan to taste
Please see backpacker notes below
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Re-hydrate tomatoes either by soaking them in water while pasta cooks or adding them to the pasta while it’s cooking.
- Drain pasta carefully with a pot lid, it’s perfectly OK if some water remains.
- Add tomatoes if not already, pesto + olive oil, pine nuts.
- Garnish with parmesan.
- Re-package the ingredients as desired. For example, it might be helpful to package the olive oil and pesto together. Eliminate any extra bulk or packaging.
- This recipe is from a large backpacking trip. We had 12 in our group and this recipe was actually scaled up. This recipe is easily scalable down to your needs. For our large group, we used a large, aluminum pot that most backpackers do not have. Just adjust the ingredients for the number of individuals in your group and make sure you have a pot large enough to handle the ingredients, tortellini swells quite a bit.
- Pesto is shelf stable to a point when re-packaged. If in doubt, throw it out. Hard cheese also do well for a few days without refrigeration. On my trips, I cook the gourmet foods first with the freshest ingredients possible and eat the dehydrated, pre-packaged backpacker meals last. Another reason for this is pack weight. The gourmet stuff is heavier, so eating it first makes sense.