Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake
Images © Noel Cunningham

Pasta is one of my go-to dishes to make at home. I mean,  who doesn’t love a good pasta dish? It’s tasty, takes only a few minutes to cook, anything can be added to it and it is always a crowd-pleaser at events – what’s not to love about it?

Pasta is the quintessential Italian food? You won’t find anything Italian about these pasta dishes, which I’ve created with the help of my friends over at Barilla, though, because I’ve added an exciting Jamaican twist to each dish. And ‘you dun know‘ that Jamaicans are known to dominate or better yet ‘Jaminate‘. 

But before we get to the recipes here are some notes on pasta…

Pasta Sauces

Two questions that I always get relating to cooking pasta are; what is the difference between cream sauce and alfredo sauce? or, what is the difference between tomato sauce and marinara sauce?

Cream sauce is a general base (mother sauce), otherwise known as béchamel sauce. It is made with flour, butter, and milk and used as a base for gravies, cheese sauces, or soup while Alfredo sauce is made by reducing cream and butter then adding cheese.

Usually, the term tomato sauce refers to plain tomato sauce made using just tomatoes. Marinara sauce on the other hand, includes some combination of olive oil, garlic and herbs, in addition to the tomatoes.

Pasta Prep Tips

  • Do not rinse your pasta after cooking. Not only does it take away some of the flavour but it also washes away the starch that helps the sauce cling to the pasta.  It is best to drain the pasta in a colander, gently shake to remove any excess water and allow to air dry.
  • Do not add your pasta to cold water. Wait for the water to come to a rapid boil then add the pasta. This will prevent it from becoming gummy and sticky.
  • Salt your water like the sea. Don’t worry, your dish won’t be salty. The salt adds flavour.
  • Don’t put oil in your water or on your pasta if you’re going to add sauce at the end. It will cause the sauce and pasta to separate.

Now we that we’ve gotten the essential points out of the way, here’s 4 of my must-try pasta dishes with a Jamaican touch – perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner.

The Sauces

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce
Image © Noel Cunningham

Why buy it when you can make it?  My tomato sauce recipe will give any pasta dish an extra kick. Get the recipe here.

Cream Sauce

Cream Sauce
Image © Noel Cunningham

This is a simple cream sauce recipe. Get the recipe here.

1. Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake

Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake
Image © Noel Cunningham

Toss and bake’ – that’s what I call this dish. It’s the perfect way to prepare pasta when you’re taking it to a dinner party or not serving it immediately. I used jerk-pork sausage with a blend of cream and tomato sauces then topped it off with a handful of cheese for a crispy and cheesy top. Get the recipe here.

2. Cheesy Jerk Beef Lasagne

Cheesy Jerk Beef Lasagne
Image © Noel Cunningham

Here’s a hearty yet simple meat lasagne that is perfect for a cozy night in. It is cheesy with just the right amount of spice. Everyone raves about this dish – it was so good that some of my taste testers raised their glasses when they couldn’t find any words. Get the recipe here.

3. Jamaican-style Pesto-Coconut Cream Pasta with Ackee

Jamaican-style Pesto-Coconut Cream Pasta with Ackee
Image © Noel Cunningham

This dish is for those persons who don’t eat meat or who just want to take a break from meat. With this combination of pesto, coconut milk and ackee you’re in for an ital treat.  Get the recipe here.

4. Simple Fettuccine with Chicken Supreme

Simple Fettuccine with Chicken Supreme
Image © Noel Cunningham

This is a tasty and super simple dish – just toss the pasta with olive oil and herbs then voilà! Get the recipe here.

What are some of your favourite pasta dishes? Share them with me in the comments below.

RECIPES IN THIS POST:
Tomato Sauce
Cream Sauce
Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake
Cheesy Jerk Beef Lasagne
Jamaican-style Pesto-Coconut Cream Pasta with Ackee
Simple Fettuccine with Chicken Supreme
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Noel Cunningham

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Noel is a Jamaican chef who creates culinary experiences that bring people together with great food.