Fridge raiding: Turks and Caicos Island rasta pasta

You know it’s been a busy summer when you’ve only managed to cook one dish for this blog in two months! With life set to get even busier, we thought we’d better squeeze in one more before Miranda ‘creeps like snail unwillingly’ back to work.

At first, however, this was easier said than done. The next country on our list was the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory made up of 40 coral islands in the Atlantic. Its national dish is conch fritters. Other than in Lord of the Flies, we’ve never come across conch, and it certainly wasn’t an ingredient we could easily lay our hands on. With a population of only around 35,000, the Turks and Caicos Islands aren’t exactly swimming in alternative national dishes, so the search for something we could make proved a little elusive.

Eventually, we found a website that promised to teach us ‘how to cook like a Turks Islander’, and its recipe for rasta pasta listed ingredients that we could easily obtain. In fact, it bears a striking resemblance to what we often decide to make for dinner when we only have random bits and pieces of food in the house. So whilst we’re not entirely sure of rasta pasta’s authenticity, it was a meal that we could actually make!

Rasta pasta

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
2 yellow and 2 red peppers, julienned
450g fettuccine pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups black beans, cooked and drained
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated

Method
1. Heat the 3 tbsp olive oil and saute the garlic, onion and peppers until soft.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water. When cooked, drain and toss with the 1 tbsp olive oil.
3. Add the beans to the peppers etc.
4. Combine the pasta with the peppers, broccoli and herbs.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.
Serves 4 if you’re us, 6 if you’re the recipe

1132a Rasta pasta veg compressed

1133a Rasta pasta compressed

1134 Rasta pasta

Because this really was just like a standard desperate end-of-week-empty-fridge meal for us, it wasn’t a showstopper, but it wasn’t unenjoyable either. Apparently you can’t buy fettuccine in South London, so we used tagliatelle, which was fine except that it stuck together a bit. The beans seemed like an incongruous addition at first, but we decided that we actually liked them (and they added some protein). The only complaint, perhaps, would be that the finished product was a little dry: there was no sauce, and not enough olive oil to make an impact. Still, the flavour wasn’t disappointing, so we don’t regret having tried it. And because we do cook dinners like this on a semi-regular basis, we guess you could say that we’ll make it again!

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