Yes, I have discovered TikTok! One thing I love about it is all the videos are fast and some of them even look delicious. One that has taken over the online world is the Baked Feta Pasta and I can see why. Most people do not want to make a pasta sauce from scratch over the stove for over an hour. Making one with just tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and feta in the oven is genius in its simplicity.
It is a little too simple a pasta dish for me and I am like my mom, no meal is complete without meat, so I added cooked Italian sausage. Other than that, I actually followed the recipe! OK I divided it in half and made it in the toaster oven because I am cooking for one in a kitchenette without an oven but still, the premise and results should be the same. So, is it worth the hype?
You will need: 1 pint tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, Kosher salt, 1 block (100 grams) Greek feta cheese, pinch crushed red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, 6 oz medium-length dried pasta, 2 Italian sausages, cooked separately and fresh basil leaves.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. In a medium to large baking dish combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Place feta cheese in centre of tomatoes and garlic. Top with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle entire dish with red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, until garlic has softened and tomatoes have burst their skins.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Mash feta and tomatoes with a fork and mix until evenly combined.
Mix sauce with pasta, adding reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. To serve, divide among bowls and top with plenty of basil leaves and Italian sausage.
OK, I will admit it, it was absolutely delicious!!! I had some issues with some of my tomatoes not bursting open so I got tomato seeds and guts all over me and it isn’t the prettiest sauce on the planet but it is super yummy. I can see why I went viral for sure! This is not an easy time of year to find fresh basil and luckily I got mine for only $2.50 at Farm Boy because my other store wanted more than $4! The basil really does take it over the edge.
What is better than a bowl of delicious noodles? I have no idea. This is my idea of total comfort food and it is made from scratch!
I give this recipe five out of five wooden spoons for being easy, delicious and delivering on its promise. Yes, there is a very valid reason it went viral! The only issue? It takes more than 40 minutes to make but it is worth it, I promise.