I have been doing a lot of reading about recipes and I see that it is common to cook pasta, then dehydrate/freeze. I assume it helps it rehydrate quicker on the trail... But why does it do that? Why would pre-cooking help it absorb water quicker the second time? Thanks ~Cole
Why don't you test it out? Just add hot water to regular ol' pasta and see what happens.
There is a change in the pasta that happens during cooking - when you boil pasta and then dehydrate it, then add hot water to it (no boiling the pasta in the pot) on the trail, you have a just-add-water meal. No pot to scrub. Adding water to dried raw pasta (what you get from the store) will result in moist dry pasta, or a sticky glop, depending on how hot the water is and how long you soak it.
BTW, I don't freeze it. Dehydrated cooked pasta will keep a good long time if stored in a sealed container.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki
Pasta is not a cooked product in the store - it is a raw food. So by cooking at home and dehydrating you get a ready to use product (just like when you cook and dry rice!). Also, it removes the starch so you don't have to contend with starch filled small pots of water that love to flow over. The other key thing is your pasta is now basically "instant" - it need only soak in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes (depending on how big your pasta is, then drain and carry on. This means no big pot, no messy cleanups and no boil overs.
Also, once cooked and dehydrated pasta has a shelf life of a year or so with no issues. You want it bone dry.
On freezing? You only need to freeze dehydrated foods if they are combined with meat, dairy or oil - as these items can go rancid in storage over time, freezing stops that. But alone, no.
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond: www.trailcooking.com
I got a dehydrator for Christmas and have been drying everything I can making practice meals...it's kinda fun and you never know what you're going to get. Got some taco meat, rice, and beans drying away now