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