Primavera Jamaicana

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 Scotch bonnet, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1⁄2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1⁄2 very ripe plantain, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup peeled calabaza pumpkin, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cho cho (chayote), peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
  • 1⁄2 cup French beans (local string beans), trimmed
  • 1⁄4 cup Jamaican brandy or sherry
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1⁄2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • cheese, to taste
  • 1 pound spinach fettuccine pasta
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Warm the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the scallions, garlic, ginger, Scotch bonnet, thyme and red pepper. Add the plantain and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cho cho and French beans. Add the brandy and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk and cook until thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.

2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and toss immediately with the vegetable mixture in the saucepan. Season again with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Cooking Hint: For extra kick-ass flavor, add ½ cup chopped bacon in step 1, along with the onions and peppers, and cook until crispy. If you are not serving this pasta (or any of our other pasta dishes) immediately, but want to be as ready as possible in advance, you can blanch the pasta then transfer it to an ice-water bath to shock it; this stops the cooking process. Toss the pasta with a little vegetable oil and hold covered until ready to use. Make sure to slightly undercook the pasta, because when you add it back to the pan with the sauce, it will continue to cook!


Recipes & Images from Caribbean Potluck™ by Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau © 2014 Kyle Books - Photographs by Ellen Silverman