I love camping and spending time outdoors in nature, so of course my favorite series this winter anime season is the relaxing Yuru Camp… Cute girls going camping while finding friendship and enjoying nature along the way? Yes, please! Sign me up! And, as a bonus, they also happen to eat all sorts of yummy-looking food while on their excursions!
Today’s recipe is from episode 5 of Yuru Camp, in which Rin tries her hand at cooking while camping. She’s not very experienced at cooking on the trail (usually opting for cup noodles) and decides to make a simple, creamy one pot soup-style pasta dish with bacon, mushrooms, and asparagus that can easily be recreated on the trail or at home.
About the recipe:
This recipe is a simple, one pot meal that makes for a fancy dish to eat while camping, or a quick, warming meal made from the comforts of your own home. I took this recipe directly from the episode, and made only a couple modifications. The result is a creamy, slightly soupy pasta dish that’s sure to warm you up from the inside out.
It’s also a pretty diverse recipe, so if you want to substitute any other vegetables in (say, for example, green beans for asparagus), feel free to experiment!
I made a few changes to the recipe presented in the anime:
- I used a quarter of a bullion cube (concentrated broth in cube form) instead of an entire cube because I found it way too salty. With an entire cube, I also found the bullion taste too strong, and it overpowered the dish. Of course, it may depend on what brand you use…. So, my recommendation would be to start with a quarter, taste it before you put the spaghetti in, and decide for yourself how much more (if any) to put in.
- I used white button mushrooms instead of shimeji mushrooms because it was what I could find where I live in Denmark… If you want to be 100% authentic to the anime version of the recipe, use shimeji if you can find it! But, if you can’t, don’t worry. Any mushrooms will probably taste just fine in this dish.
- I also doubled the water amount listed in the anime because it just wasn’t enough to cook my spaghetti… Also, I secretly didn’t break my pasta in half and just forced in inch by inch into the pot – maybe not the most efficient way to cook the pasta, but hey, I wanted those long noodles. 😛
- Adding the cheese after the pasta has cooked instead of with the milk stopped it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and also brought out the cheese flavor more. The heat from the pasta should be more than enough to melt your cheese!
About the ingredients:
Bullion or consommé cube adds the flavor and all the salt you need to this dish. Depending on what brand you use, you may need a little more than stated in the recipe below. A word of caution: add it gradually rather than all at once to avoid your pasta from being too salty or strongly bullion flavored.
White button mushrooms are used in this recipe instead of shimeji mushrooms simply because that was what I could easily find where I live. Other mushrooms would probably work great in this recipe, too. If you can find shimeji mushrooms (often sold in asian grocery stores in packages), try it out! To prepare, just cut off the bottom of the mushroom clump where the stems all come together. Then, separate out the individual mushrooms.
Pre-sliced cheese is added to the pasta in the anime for ease of use while camping, but if you’re making this at home, you can also easily substitute in two slices of your favorite cheese. I used gouda in mine (that was what I happened to have in the fridge!), but other milky, semi-firm cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, etc.) would work wonders, too.
Bacon adds a lot of flavor to this dish, as well as a good dose of saltiness. I used a block of bacon that I could slice myself. It was pretty lean and maybe a bit saltier than typical North American thin sliced bacon that comes in packages. Blot the bacon fat using a paper towel before adding the pasta if you feel it’s too greasy. (I didn’t because my bacon was very lean)
Makes 1 serving
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
- 2 thick slices bacon (or, 3-4 slices thin bacon), cut into batons or bite sized pieces
- 5 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 large white button mushrooms, cut into slices
- 100g (3.5 oz) pasta
- 1/4 half bullion or consommé cube
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 200ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) milk
- 2 pieces pre-sliced cheese (or, two slices of your favorite cheese)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dried or fresh chopped parsley
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot on medium high heat until shimmering. Add garlic, onion, bacon, asparagus, and mushrooms. Stir fry until bacon is lightly browned and the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Blot the bacon fat using a paper towel if you feel it is too greasy.
- Add water and a quarter of a bullion cube. Dissolve bullion cube into the water and bring to a boil. Taste soup for seasoning, adding more bullion cube if necessary.
- Add spaghetti, breaking it in half to allow it to fit in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about half the recommended cooking time of the spaghetti you are using, or until the water is nearly soaked up.
- Add milk and return to a boil. Stir occasionally and simmer until the pasta is cooked through. The liquid should be thickened and will easily coat the pasta. Add a dash of milk or water only if your pasta is not cooked through and the pasta is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat and add cheese in a single layer on top. Let rest for a moment to melt before stirring to incorporate. Top with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of parsley.
Serve straight out of the pot while on the trail camping, or in a bowl from the comforts of home. Goes well with a slice of bread to soak up any leftover soupy sauce.
Source: Yuru Camp (Episode 5), with modifications by Blue Variance.