Kampsite Cooking:

Pasta Puttanesca

After hiking, fishing, swimming or simply breathing the fresh air of the forest all day, you and your camping crew are sure to be ravenous. Satisfy your cravings with this Neapolitan classic adapted for the outdoors.

Serves: 8-10


  • 1 medium Vidalia onion — chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic — minced
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small can tomato paste (4 ounces)
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes (28 ounces each)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 anchovies chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. capers (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 roll of breakfast sausage (16 ounces — this is also optional)
  • 16 ounces of uncooked rotini pasta

Preparing this dish before leaving home is a great way to save time, particularly if kitchen duty is not one of your favorite chores. It also cuts down on the kitchen supplies that you will need to take with all your other camping gear.


  1. Cook the rotini in a large pot until it is al dente — following the suggested time on the package.
  2. Cut the breakfast sausage into eight patties and fry them in a skillet until done and drain well.
  3. Wipe out the skillet with a couple of paper towels and add the butter, chopped onions and garlic to the skillet. Saute the vegetables until they began to turn translucent. Add the chopped anchovies and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour the diced tomatoes into the skillet, add the tomato paste, and water. Add the Italian seasoning, black olives, capers and stir well. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. Pour the hot sauce over the drained and cooked pasta.  Break the cooked sausage patties into bite-sized chunks, add to the mixture and stir well.
  5. Let the mixture cool and then pour it into a plastic, airtight storage container that has a tight-fitting lid. This dish keeps well in a cold cooler until you are ready to prepare the meal.
  6. At the campground, pour the Pasta Puttanesca into a casserole dish with a lid or cover it tightly with foil. Bake the dish over hot coals or a grill for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir the mixture a couple of times while baking to ensure that it warms evenly. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Serve with cornbread muffins or garlic breadsticks.

Tip: Make this a vegetarian meal by omitting the anchovies and breakfast sausage. Add one can of pinto or kidney beans to add extra protein to the meal, if desired.