Easy and Delicious Backpacking Italian Sausage Pasta

By Alexander Popp



There’s a reason why classic Italian dishes are loved the way they are. Good Italian foods are simple, filling, and most of all, comforting.

Italian Sausage Penne Pasta with onions, mushrooms, and marinara prepared in the backcountry.

When I think about what I want to eat in the backcountry, those three qualities are almost always what I’m looking for. And of all the Italian dishes out there, almost nothing is more comforting or simple than a good red sauce, pasta, and Italian sausage with onions and veggies.

With this recipe, you don’t need to miss out on any of those reasons we love Italian cooking, even when you’re miles away from civilization in the backcountry.

Quick Tip: You might be worried about taking Italian Sausage out into the backcountry, where refrigeration isn’t really a thing, but I’m here to tell you that can be done, provided you are careful and follow a few rules. Rule 1, any non-cured/preserved meats CAN be taken into the backcountry as long as they are kept insulated and used within 12 hours. Rule 2, fully freezing a meat product like Italian sausage and wrapping it in newspaper is a great way to keep them insulated. Rule 3, always opt for cured/preserved/precooked meat options whenever possible



  • Garlic – 3 Cloves – Minced

    This recipe uses a sauce mix, bolstered by fresh vegetables, spices, red wine, and other ingredients that end up tasting just like how mom used to make it.
  • Onion – 1 Small – Diced
  • Olive Oil – 4 TBSP
  • Cherry Tomatoes – 1 Cup – Halved
  • Tomato Paste – 5 TBSP
  • Dehydrated pasta sauce – 1 Pack
  • Pre-Cooked Italian Style Sausage – 4 Sausages (or however many you’d like) – Chopped in 1/2’ pieces.
  • Parm – About 4 Ounces – Grated
  • Penne Pasta – 2 Cups
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper


  1. Boil pasta until Al Dente in a pot of salted water, reserve a small amount of pasta water before draining, if possible, then set pasta aside in another pot or bowl.
  2. In a fresh pot, heat olive oil over a medium-high flame and sauté sliced sausage until it begins to brown, then add cherry tomatoes, sauté until softened, and set aside. Add another splash of olive oil then sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms until vegetables are fragrant and soft. Deglaze pan with a few splashes of red wine.
  3. Return reserved pasta water to the pot, then stir in sauce packet, tomato paste and olive oil. Simmer over low heat until sauce reduces by 1/3.
  4. As the sauce begins to thicken, return sausage and tomatoes to the pot. Taste and season with basil, oregano, red pepper, and salt as needed.
  5. Divide into bowls with pasta and top with shredded parmesan and chopped basil.
  6. Enjoy
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