Ski’s Spaghetti Sauce – Dehydrator Special

After helping a fellow poster on the NWHiker forums this week, I had to ask him if I could post his write-up and photos – and share it with everyone. Enjoy taking a peek at Ski’s homemade spaghetti sauce. If you love a rich flavored red sauce, this is the one for you! (Or is that a Sunday Gravy?)


(I love seeing so many bowls! ~ Sarah)

Ski’s Red Sauce


  • 1 pound of ground pork sausage (sweet Italian sausage here)
  • 1 big onion, chopped fine (I used a big Walla Walla sweet)
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped fine
  • 1 small carrot, grated through the small side of the cheese grater
  • 1 head (at least) fresh garlic, minced (I used 2 heads, minced fine)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 cans diced tomatoes (with or without garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, oregano, basil, ad nauseam)
  • 6 big white button mushrooms, sliced (maybe) (for purposes of dehydrating, I did not use mushrooms, as I don’t really care for the leathery texture of dried mushroom)
  • 1½ tsp fennel seed
  • 1/3 cup of oregano leaf
  • 2 tsp sweet Italian basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • pinch dried red chile flakes

Grind all the herbs, salt, and pepper (except for the fennel) into a powder with a mortar and pestle to bring out the flavors.

in a great big pot:
Brown pork sausage and toss in about a half tablespoon of fennel seed. Drain on paper towels.

For purposes of dehydrating, I cooked the hell out of the sausage to reduce the fat content as much as possible:


Heat olive oil, saute onion, garlic, celery, and add the herbs:


Add cooked sausage, carrot, tomatoes. Add twice as much water as what’s in the pot. I added half a bottle of red wine:


Simmer two or three hours minimum, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. I used a wire whisk to break down the tomato as small as possible:


Spread sauce thinly onto parchment-lined drying racks in the dehydrator:


Dried at 135° F for fourteen hours:


Drying reduced the volume by about half. One cup of sauce yielded just over half a cup of dry product resembling bacon bits:


Now it’s time for the field test.
I figured I may as well try it with the equipment I’ll actually have in my pack, so I dug out the Dragonfly and my camping cookware.
I added ½ cup boiling water to the dried sauce and let it reconstitute in my bowl while the pasta was cooking:


When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added the reconstituted sauce and mixed it in and let it stand for a few minutes:


A little parmesan on top, and it was just like home:


This entire process was just shy of 24 hours. we had spaghetti last night for dinner, and I had enough left to get five one-cup servings, one of which I just had for lunch.

The dehydrator, if you are wondering, is an American Harcest Nesco Snackmaster. Packaged each ½ cup (dry) serving into individual zip-lock sandwich bags, and those four bags into a one-quart zip-lock freezer bag.

It comes in at .59 pounds, or approximately 2.36 ounces per serving (including packaging.)

Thank you Ski, for letting me share your efforts! PS: Keep an eye out for more dehydrator posts coming this summer……


 photo SarahSig_zps0e9c8316.png


  1. jen

    that look so good! I will have to try that sauce recipe. I made a sauce recently and mixed in the cooked noodles(I made sure to break them up into ~1″ pieces and dehydrated the mixture. It rehydrated so well. Everything turned out perfect (It was a tofu base, instead of meat and the tofu was a little on the chewy side, but still good)

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