Rasta Pasta

Rasta Pasta

A few months ago I was in Jamaica and had a dish the chef named ‘Rasta Pasta’. One of the many things I love about Jamaica is the variety of food and the inclusion of vegetarian options. Due to the Rastafari movement, 8 to 10% of the population follow the ital diet which is a strict vegetarian – often vegan – way of eating.  Rasta Pasta is a simple dish of penne, callaloo (a dark, leafy green similar to spinach) and Jamaica’s national treasure, Ackee.  It had a garlicky taste and was a nice addition to the menu.  Like other greens, callaloo is rich in iron, Vitamin C and calcium.

Upon returning I made my own version and added a pesto sauce.  It offers a great way to jazz up the dish and another way of serving pasta.  Enjoy!

Feed the wellness in you!


Rasta Pasta


  • 8 oz of penne (fusilli or any tube like pasta will work well)
  • 3 cups of callaloo, washed and chopped (found at Caribbean markets)
  • 1 can of Ackee, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced garlic
  • 2-3 tbl pesto sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese to taste (optional)


  1. Cook the penne according to directions.
  2. Mix in the pesto sauce and red pepper flakes; set aside.
  3. In a large dutch pan, sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the callaloo and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes (until soft).
  5. Add the penne to the vegetables and mix well.
  6. Slowly fold in the ackee. Do not mix briskly because the ackee is soft and will get mashed.
  7. Top with parmesan cheese to taste and serve.


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