4 tablespoons Jamaican jerk spice blend (homemade or store bought)
3 chicken breast filets, about 1.25 pounds total
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces short pasta shape such as ziti
1 onion, chopped
2 colored bell peppers – I used red and yellow
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and get the jerk spice blend ready. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Prep the chicken: pat the chicken dry, and place it on a work surface. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the spice blend over one side of the chicken, and gently rub the spices into the chicken. Turn the chicken over, and sprinkle another 1 1/2 tablespoons of the blend to cover the other side of the chicken. Let the chicken site with the spice blend for 5 to 10 minutes before you begin cooking it.
Brown the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. When the skillet is hot, place the chicken in the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes, until it begins to brown. Turn the chicken over, and cook for another 3 minutes.
Bake chicken: move the browned chicken breasts from the skillet to the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Cooking time will vary a bit based on the size of your chicken – it should reach 165 degree internal temperature when done. Set the cooked chicken aside while you finish the pasta.
Boil water and cook the pasta as the chicken cooks.
Make the sauce as the chicken cooks. Add 1 tablespoon olive to the skillet used for browning the chicken, and heat on medium. Add the onion to the skillet, stirring to incorporate spices and bits of chicken left in the skillet from the chicken browning process. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it gets soft, then add the bell pepper. Stir to combine peppers and onions. Next, add the 1/2 cup of chicken broth and the remaining tablespoon of jerk spice blend. Stir to combine, and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes as the pasta cooks.
Combine pasta withsauce: When the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and toss immediately with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the pepper / onion sauce. Stir in the 2/3 cup heavy cream and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Serve: Cut the jerk chicken into strips about 1/2 inch thick. Plate the pasta, topping with 3 to 4 slices of chicken. Repeat for each serving. Enjoy!
If you want to make your own jerk spice blend, I used this Food Fidelity recipe. I cut the cayenne pepper amount by half to moderate the spice level, and it still had some pretty good kick.
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