This recipe comes to you by way of the great outdoors! Recently my love and I headed out into the Oregon wilderness for a weekend of adventure near Umpqua Hot Springs. Given that we were camping in a site that had no running water, we packed a big jug with us, and the ingredients for a yummy, filling pasta that wouldn’t take too much juice.
I have a confession to make: I am a vegan who doesn’t like beans. I think their texture is a big mood killer in terms of yummy cuisine. That being said, I’m slowly but surely developing a fairly stubborn soy allergy, so using TVP wasn’t an option this time around, and I needed to restore my energy after a day of hiking. If you’re into a more traditionally meaty pasta instead of our white beaned friend here, feel free to sub TVP for the beanies, and soak in broth or water to prep them up according to package instructions.
The campfire adds a delicious, smoky flavor to this pasta that simply can’t be beat. It’s the perfect meal for a ravenous trio of hikers on a rainless day. I usually will prep the herb/spice mix before leaving so I don’t have to bring all my precious herbs and spices into the forest. Equipment-wise you’ll need a knife, cutting board, spatula, very very very good oven mit, and fire-safe cookware (I use my cast iron skillet). A measuring cup helps, but I have a perfectly 8oz camping mug that works for me.
Disclaimer: You will get ashes in your food, and most people say don’t eat those. Use your best judgment. It’s very easy to burn yourself cooking over a fire, so please be super safe!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: super varies depending on the hotness of your fire, anywhere from 15-30 minutes
Total time: your guess is as good as mine, but at least you probably don’t have anywhere to be in the middle of the woods, haha
- 12oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tbsp high smoking point oil
- 1 1/2 cups dry pasta. Somethin’ thick ‘n chunky works best, like penne or bowtie (I used bowtie)
- 4 cups of water, divided (I filled my camping mug with water and added water a mug at a time to the pot)
- 1 can cannelini beans
- 1 jar of your favorite red sauce (I like Newman’s Own sockarooni purrrrsonally)
- Get a campfire going, and lay your cooking rack over the fire. Some recipes call for the fire to already be at low embers, but I’ve cooked this over a medium flame on a fresh fire and had no issues.
- Place your cast iron skillet over the fire to preheat, and add your cooking oil, using your spatula to spread it around to coat the pan. It shouldn’t take long to get hot.
- Once it heats up, add your mushrooms and herb mix. Spread out in the pan so they can brown. It’s pretty common for the fire to heat up one part of the skillet more than others, so shift things around as needed so that everyone gets cooked fairly evenly:
- Once your mushrooms are looking a little brown, add your pasta, and two cups of water. It should come to a boil pretty fast. Shift your pasta around in the pan so that it gets a good coverage of boiling water. Continue to cook until almost all of the water is gone, careful to leave enough so that it doesn’t stick.
- Taste-test your pasta. If it’s not soft enough, add more water a half cup at a time until everybody’s al dente. This process could take a little while, and depending on the size of your cast iron, you may want to add more or less water so that your pasta can get what it needs. Once it’s all done and the water has cooked off nearly all the way, it should look a bit like this:
- Add your red sauce and beans, and heat to the desired temperature, careful not to overheat and cause sticking or burning. Once it’s all warmed up, remove the pasta from the fire, and enjoy.