Caribbean jerk chicken pasta... but make it vegan

Creamy, vibrant, zingy – and entirely vegan. By Prudence Wade

Wednesday 26 January 2022 08:05
<p>Rasta pumpkin pasta </p>

Rasta pumpkin pasta

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“Taking inspiration from traditional Rasta pasta which uses cheeses, we’ve created a vegan alternative with our creamy pumpkin sauce,” explain Craig and Shaun McAnuff – the brothers behind Original Flava.

“Roasting the pumpkin with garlic and chilli helps give the sauce a zingy jump, before it’s thickened in the pan to the creamiest sauce you’ll see! Give this one a go – it’s super-quick, easy and delicious.”

Rasta pumpkin pasta

Serves: 6-8


500g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced

1 whole garlic bulb

1 scotch bonnet or chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped

Olive oil, for cooking

200g coconut yoghurt

Leaves of 2 rosemary sprigs

6 fresh thyme sprigs or 1tsp dried thyme

1 vegan stock cube

1 x 400ml can coconut milk

1tbsp golden syrup

500g dried penne pasta

1 onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and sliced

1tbsp jerk paste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful of parsley, chopped, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 170C Fan/190C/gas mark 5. Place a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray. Add the diced pumpkin or squash, garlic bulb and scotch bonnet or chilli, then sprinkle two tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon each of salt and black pepper on it and mix together. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through and starting to caramelise.

2. Leave to cool for five minutes, then dash into a blender, squeezing the soft garlic cloves out of their papery skins. Add the yoghurt, rosemary and thyme and crumble in the stock cube. Add half the coconut milk, the syrup, salt to taste and a splash of water. Blend together until smooth.

3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions, then drain.

4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add the onion and bell peppers and saute for five minutes until soft, then add in the blended pumpkin sauce, remaining coconut milk and jerk paste. Stir, then simmer, uncovered, for five minutes until thickened.

5. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and combine well to coat. Add a sprinkling of parsley and enjoy.

Recipe from ‘Natural Flava: Quick And Easy Plant-Based Caribbean Recipes’ by Craig and Shaun McAnuff (published by Bloomsbury, £22; photography by Matt Russell), available now.

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