I Made the Viral TikTok Baked Feta Pasta Dish
You need to try this easy-to-make cheesy goodness
As someone who spends 85% of their waking moments scrolling through TikTok, I bookmark a ton of mouth-watering recipes from #foodtok, which has become an arbiter of kitchen trends over the past year. Anyone remember the early quarantine Whipped Coffee recipe, for instance? And as someone who loves the idea of cooking but whose culinary skills are nonexistent, these recipes pile up in my saved tab and, like me, never see the inside of my stove. It wasn’t until I came across the Baked Feta Pasta recipe that’s now taking over the video-sharing app that I felt compelled to learn how to turn on my stove.
The creamy pasta dish looked utterly delicious, but more importantly, it looked like something I could actually execute with some degree of success. The instructions were easy to follow, the ingredient list was simple, and I didn’t have to buy and fancy spices. Plus, I already know how to boil water.
There are some different variations of the dish circulating on TikTok, but popular versions come courtesy @feelgoodfoodie, @scheckeats, @cookingwithayeh and there’s even one for people who shop exclusively at Trader Joes. But the creator of the dish was Jenni Häyrinen, a Finnish food blogger who runs the blog Limessä and posted the pasta recipe, called “uunifetapasta,” about a year and a half ago. (No worries, there’s now an English translation.) According to Häyrinen, the dish became so popular in Finland that “feta cheese sales went up 300%” and stores were running out of ingredients.
Still, whichever recipe you follow, the bulk of it is pretty much the same: You roast a block of feta cheese and a heap of cherry tomatoes with olive oil and some seasoning, then you mix it all together with the pasta of your choice (I went with a swirly Radiatori, but bow-tie is a popular option as well) and enjoy. I decided to follow popular food tiktoker Jeremy Scheck’s “Finnish” Baked Feta Pasta recipe, which you can find here, partly because he and I seem to share an obsession with sprinkling red pepper flakes over everything.
So in a casserole dish, I spread two and a half tablespoons of olive oil and dumped my two pints of tomatoes (I only had grape tomatoes; they worked fine.) I seasoned the entire thing with black pepper, a shit-ton of red pepper flakes and a dash of dried oregano. This particular recipe also called for a drizzle of honey over the feta. Then I situated my block of feta cheese in the middle of the tomatoes and placed a full head of garlic in there with it. After all that, I popped it in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. About eight minutes before it was done, I started to boil my pasta. Before draining it, used a mug to save some pasta water to add to the dish later to loosen the mixture a bit. After taking my beautifully blistered tomatoes and lightly browned cheese out of the oven, I squished and squashed the softened garlic, mixed everything together with tongs, added basil and a squeeze of lemon. Finally, I combined my pasta and pasta water, mixed it all together once more to create a creamy, sweet pasta dish with a spicy kick.
I may have gone a bit overboard with the red pepper flakes, and I kinda wish I’d peeled the garlic before roasting it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. And because I made enough for about six people, I will happily enjoy eating it every day for the rest of the week. So yes, this fuss-free baked pasta dish is worthy of its virality, and I implore you to try. Assuming you’re not experiencing any feta shortages.
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