Island Cuisine: Classic Rasta Pasta Recipe to Spice Up the New Season

Rasta pasta recipe

I'm from the beautiful island of Jamaica where our cooking techniques, spices, flavors and varied dishes are influenced by the cultures of the natives: the Spanish, Africans, Indians, and the Southeast Asians who settled on the island. The island is known for its popular dishes, which includes ackee and saltfish (the national dish), curry goat, oxtail, rice and peas, and the well known jerk chicken. It is always fascinating how when Jamaican's make a dish the flavors just emerges.

Here is another dish for you--the Rasta Pasta.  The Rasta Pasta was not derived from it's name sake, but rather an Italian dish with Jamaican influence. It is one of the favorites here in Brooklyn, at restaurants such as Foot Prints, Fish Eye and Mango Seed. Hope you enjoy this delicious Rasta Pasta recipe--at least my version of it.


Rasta Pasta recipe

  • 2 cups Penne Pasta

  • 2 cups Morzarella (or cheddar) cheese grated

  • 1 1/2 -2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 packet of Knorr's Parma Rosa sauce mix

  • 2 bell peppers (1 green and 1 red) seeded and sliced

  • 1 tsp hot Jamaican jerk seasoning

  • 1 garlic clove minced

  • 1/2 chopped onion

  • 1 tblsp olive oil (or 2 tblsp butter)

  • a bit of ground pepper and salt

Boil penne pasta until cooked but still firm then drain. Next, sautee minced garlic with chopped onions and bell peppers in olive oil or butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add jerk seasoning, then coconut milk (paying close attention to prevent from burning), adding a bit of salt and ground pepper to taste. Add parma rosa and slowly stir in cheese until completely melted. Then add the penne pasta and thoroughly mix, combining until it has thicken.

Serve by itself, grilled chicken strips, grilled shrimp, or your choice of meat.

What are your favorite Jamaican dishes? Tell us in the comment area below!