You'll feel like you're on vacation in the Islands when you try Rasta Pasta! It's one of many delicious recipes you'll find in Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason.
I've never been to Jamaica, but when I picked up Caribbean Vegan, I was immediately drawn to this dish.
I think it was the colors of the bell peppers that made it look so enticing.
This cookbook is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about Island cuisine.
You'll find recipes from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Jamaica, and other islands. And it's interesting to see the influence of Spanish, French, African, and Asian flavors on the region's flavors.
Taymer Mason starts by giving an introduction to the ingredients used in Caribbean cooking, which I found very useful.
In addition, I found the chapters to be organized in a very logical fashion:
Seasonings and Sauces
Soups and Stews
Teas and Sweet and Savory Delights
Drinks and Cocktails
You may be temped to jump right to the last chapter, and I wouldn't blame you!
But I learned that Island cuisine is a lot more than tropical drinks.
Rasta Pasta is a really delicious main course.
However, it does take quite a bit of time to make since it has a lot of components.
I made it on a weeknight, but I would suggest making it on the weekend instead when you have more time.
Or you can skip the walnut balls if you are short on time.
The coconut curry sauce is delicious on it's own with pasta and vegetables.
I felt rushed when I tried to do everything on a busy weeknight. You might be able to tell from my messy meatless balls!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, (or olive oil) for sautéing
- 2 cups chopped button mushrooms
- 2 small onions, sliced
- 1 cup walnut halves, soaked in 3 cups of water for at least 30 minutes
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 dates, pitted
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon flax meal, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water for 3 minutes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup oat flour, plus 2 Tablespoons
- ¼ cup fine bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- ½ cup neutral oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder, (or Thai curry powder, any color)
- 1 can coconut milk, (13.5 ounces)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tablespoon tamari, (or Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, for sautéing
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 pound linguini, cooked al dente according to package directions
- To make the walnut balls, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the drained walnuts, garlic, dates, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, thyme, flax meal mixed with hot water, curry powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Pulse until the nuts have been chopped fine but you still have texture.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and add the oat flour, bread crumbs, jerk seasoning, and seasoning salt. Form the mixture into twenty 1.5-inch balls.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- 5. Heat the neutral oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the walnut balls, until a thin brown crust is formed, 5 minutes.
- Transfer the balls to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the form an outer brown crust.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot heat. Add the curry and heat through, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, onion, garlic, soy sauce, cilantro, allspice, sugar, and onion powder and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for salt. Bring to a boil and stir until the mixture is fairly creamy.
- To finish the pasta, heat olive oil in a wok over high heat. Sauté the bell peppers until slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and heat through, tossing to combine, about 4 minutes. Add the sauce, to taste, and top with the walnut balls.
- To serve, layer the balls over pasta and top off with sauce.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
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