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Jamaican Rasta Pasta

Mary Dutta, RD, LD
October 5, 2023
October 5, 2023

I was introduced to Rasta Pasta and the ackee fruit while completing my culinary internship in Jamaica with Sandals Resorts. I immediately fell in love with this new fruit and the dish that was a crowd favorite at the resort.

The ackee fruit has a very unique taste and texture. It boasts a creamy and buttery flavor, resembling cooked scrambled eggs. This dish is named Rasta Pasta because the colorful peppers it uses resemble the typical Rastafarian colors.

Rasta Pasta is incredibly versatile. You can enjoy it as a vegan side dish by following the recipe as is, or you can add jerk chicken or shrimp to make it a hearty entree. Feel free to use your preferred bell peppers and pasta. Adjust the spice level by adding or subtracting the amount of dry jerk seasoning you use. If you're using jerk marinade, sauce, or paste, make sure to check the sodium content and adjust accordingly.

While ackee is delicious when freshly cooked, it can be challenging to find in its fresh state. You can usually find canned ackee in the Caribbean section of your local grocery store or at Caribbean specialty stores. If you have trouble finding canned ackee, you can simply omit it and still enjoy the pasta with its vibrant Caribbean flavors.

This version of Rasta Pasta uses less salt by incorporating a dry rub and derives its flavor from the variety of bell peppers, onions, and garlic used. By switching to whole grain pasta, we increase the fiber content of this recipe. Additionally, ackee fruit is rich in potassium.

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 onion sliced
  • 2 cups sliced bell peppers, (any color)
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, if using frozen spinach use 1 cup
  • 2 Tbsp Dry Jerk Seasoning
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta (any kind)
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed canned ackee

Instructions

  1. Start by heating your skillet on medium heat and adding 1 Tbsp of your favorite oil.
  2. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the sliced bell peppers and cook until they they begin to sweat.
  4. Add sliced garlic, and cook until slightly brown.
  5. Add the spinach and and sprinkle Dry jerk seasoning on top.
  6. Cook until spinach begins to wilt, then add cooked pasta of choice.
  7. Gently fold in the drained and rinsed ackee
  8. Cover and let cook for 1 minute.

Nutrition Facts per serving (1.5 cup)

Calories: 330 |   Total fat: 19g   |   Sat fat: 1g   |   Sodium: 378 mg   |   Total Carbohydrate: 30g   |   Sugars: 4g   |   Dietary Fiber: 8g   |   Protein: 8g

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