Rasta Pasta With Jerk Chicken

Rasta Pasta With Jerk Chicken

Comforting and spicy in just the right way, Rasta pasta is popular in Jamaican communities across New York and beyond. This version gets its spice from jerk seasoning and a single Scotch bonnet. The bell peppers and green onions add not only texture, but a sweet crunch and brightness. You could swap salmon or shrimp for the chicken, or use fettuccine or rigatoni instead of the penne, if you like; just mind the cooking time. You could even halve the heavy cream, or substitute coconut milk for more depth of flavor. Feel free to refrigerate any leftovers, and either reheat or eat them cold the next day. This is a dish that gets better with a little time.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the chicken: In a medium bowl, combine jerk seasoning, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Pull chicken out about 1 hour before cooking, so it comes to room temperature.
  2. Step 2

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium. Add the chicken to the skillet, and sear chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Step 3

    Once chicken is seared, transfer the skillet to the oven and roast chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, let rest for about 10 minutes, and slice on a bias.
  4. Step 4

    As chicken roasts, prepare the pasta: Set a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Step 5

    Add 2 tablespoons oil to a heavy pot set over medium, and sauté bell peppers with green onions until peppers are barely softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until it’s fragrant, about another minute.
  6. Step 6

    Add the 1/4 cup jerk seasoning to the pot and combine. Add the thyme and pierced pepper. Add heavy cream and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Mix in the Parmesan, then add pasta.
  7. Step 7

    Top with the jerk chicken, and garnish with green onions. Serve hot.