Backpacker's Pasta Puttanesca

Angel hair pasta is the best choice for backpacking.
By / Photography By Tara Morgan | June 15, 2016


Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a quart pot over medium heat. Add pasta and cook until slightly al dente, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid to loosen sauce. Combine hot water, olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and dehydrated tomato paste powder. Once rehydrated, toss sauce with pasta and fresh herbs. Crown with a tuft of Parmesan.

About this recipe

According to Cardoza, angel hair pasta is the best choice for backpacking. “It’s important that you get something that’s going to cook really fast,” he said. “The biggest thing that you ration is fuel.” Cardoza packs his chopped wet ingredients—capers, olives, anchovies—into twoounce plastic canisters that he tops with extra caper juice, anchovy oil, garlic and fresh herbs. You can also use zip-top baggies to save additional weight. He grates fresh parmesan onto a paper towel and leaves it to dry on the counter for 24 hours. Before the trip, he rolls the parmesan up in the paper towel and packs it in with the other ingredients. The entire meal fits into a one-quart zip-top bag when the pasta is broken in half. It clocks in at only 14 ounces and feeds four backpackers.


  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 1 ounce anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste powder, aka “Black Crack”
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan
  • Fresh minced oregano, thyme, rosemary
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