Jamaican rasta pasta recipe – A one pan Caribbean pasta dish with a medley of bell peppers, seasoned with jerk marinade and cooked in a creamy coconut sauce.
If you are a big fan of all things pasta based then you are going to love this vegan rasta pasta dish. This cuisine is brimming with heat and true island flavour. Best of all, it’s a one pan dish that’s so easy to bring together and great to prep ahead of time or in bulk to save yourself the hassle of being in the kitchen.
Growing up I don’t recall hearing about “rasta pasta” it definitely wasn’t a recipe which my family were even aware of. Like so many other cuisines with time I guess they have evolved into a newer concept for the younger generation (not that I’m old, but ya know).
I’ve made rasta pasta a few times behind the scenes now to where I’m confident enough to share my recipe. It didn’t take a lot of trial and error. Nor did it leave me with a great financial loss, which is a bonus.
What is rasta pasta
In short, is a pasta based cuisine made with bell peppers – red, yellow (gold) and green. These Tri-colours represent the Rastafarian lifestyle. Typically you will find some jerk seasoning/paste, onions, scallion, cheese and cream to make the sauce.
Since the title “rasta” is associated with the Rastafarian movement and rasta’s don’t eat meat (some eat fish). This has sparked a debate as to whether meat should be included in the recipe.
I’ve seen the following
- Jerk chicken and shrimp pasta
- Oxtail rasta pasta
- rasta pasta with shrimp
The list goes on and on but my personal stance is to keep it as ital (meat free) by omitting the use of poultry. My recipe is vegan, gluten and very much foolproof similar to my vegan paella recipe.
I’ve heard there is a restaurant in selling rasta pasta in Brooklyn. Apparently footprints rasta pasta is amazing, let’s see if I can surpass them for flavour.
How do you make rasta pasta – the ingredients
- Bell peppers (Red, yellow and green)
- Pasta (brown rice or chickpea fusilli both are gluten free options)
- Coconut milk
- Jerk marinade
- Vegan cheese
- Coconut oil
How to make Jamaican rasta pasta
Boiling the pasta – You want to add the pasta of your choice to some water and bring to the boil for roughly 7 minutes. This will par cook the pasta to firm (al dente) stage.
Sauteing the base ingredients – add the coconut oil to the skillet. Then sautee the garlic, onion and scallion just until they become soft and translucent.
Steaming the bell peppers – I like my peppers on the soft side so what I do is add the peppers to the skillet, stir and then add about 1/4 cup of warm water to the pan, cover for 10 minutes so the veggies are steamed and softened.
Jerk marinade – this will yield your heat and flavour. I used 1 tablespoon which is a nice fiery heat, but not overpowering. If you don’t care for spice, use 1 teaspoon instead. I also add the tomato during this stage as well.
The vegan sauce recipe – it’s made with coconut milk but I promise you won’t be able to taste the coconut flavour because of the additional ingredients. I pour the coconut into the pan with the par cooked pasta and turmeric.
The vegan cheese – the cheese should be the last thing to hit the pan and only needs a few minutes to melt and infused into the coconut milk
Garnish – Prior to serving I like to loosen up the leaves of some fresh thyme and sprinkle all over the cooked dish along with some black pepper.
Can I freeze my rasta pasta?
Yes, any leftovers and be frozen and eaten at any given time.
Tips and notes
- Prep the bell peppers ahead of time by chopping them the overnight
- Only use a teaspoon of jerk marinade to lessen the spiciness
- Use chickpea fusilli pasta for a high protein option
More Jamaican recipes you may enjoy
Rasta pasta (step by step using pictures)
Bring the pasta to a boil for 7 minutes and saute the onions, garlic and scallions until soft.
Add the bell peppers, water and steam the for 10 minutes (covered).
Add the tomatoes and jerk marinade to the skillet and stir.
Stir in the pasta and the turmeric into the rest of the ingredients.
Finally add the coconut milk and vegan cheese into the pan and stir.
Vegan rasta pasta dish
Delicious Jamaican vegan rasta pasta dish – a true Caribbean, flavoursome one pan cuisine – gluten free
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35
- Yield: 4
- Category: Main entree
- Cuisine: Caribbean
2 cups of pasta (rice brown or chickpea fusilli)
small onion, chopped
2 scallion, sliced
small tomato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bell peppers – red, yellow and green, all sliced
1 can of full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp of jerk marinade/sauce (vary depending on heat, see post)
1 tsp of turmeric
1 cup of vegan cheese
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1/4 cup of warm water
3 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp of black pepper
Bring the pasta to a boil for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander and set side.
Meanwhile, on medium heat, melt the coconut oil and saute the onion, garlic and scallion until soft
Add all of the bell peppers to the pan, pour in the 1/4 cup of water, reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and allow to steam for 10 minutes.
Once steamed, increase the heat to medium and stir in the tomatoes and jerk marinade.
Add the pasta, turmeric and pour the coconut milk into the skillet and combine all of the ingredients together.
Allow the pasta to cook some more with the coconut milk for a further 3-4 minutes.
Finally stir in the vegan cheese and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
Garnish with thyme (loosen from steam to sprinkle) and black pepper