Monday, April 19, 2010

Rasta Pasta


Holy crap, I love this dish! Many years ago, I worked at a Jamaican fusion restaurant in Fort Collins. This is my take on their namesake dish--though my preparation is a lot better, I have to say. Maybe it's because I'm typically not as high as the cooks at the restaurant when I make it(?).

Anyway, the recipe calls for jerk paste. I provide the homemade recipe here, and it’s pretty quick and easy to make. But you can also purchase pre-made jerk paste (sometimes called wet jerk) at many gourmet shops and larger natural food stores like Whole Foods in the condiment aisle. Note that all storebought jerk pastes will vary in intensity and saltiness, so adding a little at a time is a good idea. And make sure you purchase paste and not powder.

Because this dish is pretty hot, you'll want to enjoy it with juice, a sweet cocktail, or a beer--preferably a ginger beer.

Prep time: 2 cocktails

1/3 cup canola oil
1 head garlic, minced (yes--an entire head!)
3 TBSP red wine
3 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 pinches dried basil
2 pinches dried oregano
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
1/3 cup jerk paste (click here for recipe)
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 very petite zucchini, chopped
1 small broccoli floret broken up by hand
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced or mandolined
½ cup purple cabbage, chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 serving Incredible Jerk Tofu (click here for recipe)
2 handfuls pre-cooked pasta—use only penne or spirals
The top (green) third of a medium bunch of green onions, chopped

Combine oil and garlic in food processor or blender. Puree well.

Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add garlic oil mixture. Sauté until it begins to turn gold--but not brown, about 30-60 seconds. Add wine. Continue to cook for 20 more seconds.

Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato, basil, oregano, Cajun seasoning, and jerk paste. Stir frequently for about 8 minutes. Taste and add salt or jerk, if necessary—it should be very strongly flavored!

Add all the veggies EXCEPT the green onion. Reduce heat to medium and sauté another 5 minutes or so, until the veggies become a bit tender, stirring occasionally.

Add tofu, pasta, green onions, salt and pepper to taste (salt may not be necessary if your jerk paste already has some). Sauté 1 more minute stirring often.

Remove from heat and serve.

4 comments:

  1. Love Rasta Pasta!

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  2. I seriously loved Rasta Pasta and this dish! Thanks for sharing your take on the recipe - I will save it and savor it often!

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  3. Rasta Pasta! How I miss that place! I will be making this dish while I continue looking for the recipe for Chicken Montego Bay. (hint, hint)

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