Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken is an easy, island-inspired creamy pasta featuring spicy bites of chicken and colorful strips of bell peppers. It's simple enough for a weeknight dinner, yet impressive enough for guests.
1medium red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed,sliced into ¼-inch thick strips
1medium yellow bell pepper, stem and seeds removed,sliced into ¼-inch thick strips
1medium green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed,sliced into ¼-inch thick strips
½cupsliced scallions (about 4 to 5 scallions),plus more for garnish
½cup(100 ml) chicken broth or stock
½cup(100 ml) heavy (double) cream
½cup(45 grams) freshly grated parmesan cheese
Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning. Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoning (wear gloves and mix by hand or stir with a large spoon). Cover and marinate for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the jerk-marinated chicken pieces, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the sliced peppers. Cook, stirring regularly, until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and garlic and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant and softened.
Next, add the chicken broth, cream, and remaining 1 tablespoon of jerk seasoning to the skillet. Simmer the mixture until bubbly and thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese followed by the chicken and pasta until evenly combined. If your skillet isn’t large enough for this, only mix in the cheese and chicken, and stir to coat. Transfer the drained pasta to the empty pot from boiling the pasta (off the heat), and then pour the chicken and sauce mixture over the pasta, and stir to combine evenly.
Serve immediately topped with additional sliced scallions for garnish.
If using chicken tenders, cut them into strips on a diagonal to get larger pieces.
I recommend prepping all the other ingredients while the chicken is marinating to save time. If you're in a rush, you can reduce the marinating time and just let it sit while you prep the remaining ingredients, about 15 minutes or so.
My green pepper was larger than my red and yellow peppers so I only used about ¾ of it to yield an equal amount of pepper slices of each color.
Jerk seasoning can be either a dry rub or wet rub (paste). I prefer the wet seasoning, which you can make homemade (recipe follows) or purchase jarred. For this Rasta pasta, I used Grace mild jerk seasoning which is a wet paste. Even though it's labeled as "mild" it's still Jamaican, so it still has a good kick and the finished jerk chicken pasta has plenty of heat. You could also make this Rasta pasta with dry jerk seasoning, but I have not tested it out to compare the spiciness between using dry vs. wet rub for this recipe. If you make your own jerk seasoning or use a "hot" store-bought jerk seasoning, you may want to consider adjusting the amount to suit your taste. Everyone's spice tolerance is different.