Baked Feta Pasta Sauce

March 16, 2021

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce


I haven’t fallen into the TikTok rabbit hole, just yet.
I feel I’m almost too old for Instagram, TikTok seems really far fetched.
I mean, if 14-year old Niece is really into it — as the majority of teenagers are — I’m not sure it’s something apt to her uncle.
In addition, let’s be honest, I don’t have any particular good dance moves nor I’m skilled in telling jokes or doing sketch comedy: How am I supposed to contribute to the TikTok community? You get my point.
Let’s say that my feelings towards TikTok are similar to those brilliantly expressed by Amy Poehler in her very funny interview with Willie Geist on the Sunday Sitdown podcast “If TikTok was a window, I would be a weird person standing outside of it.” Ha!

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce
However, the moment I heard that there was a viral trending recipe on the social network for an awesome pasta sauce made with baked feta and cherry tomatoes, I did what any (despotic) adult would have done: I seized Niece’s iPhone and scrolled her feed until I found it.
Then I did that thing I imagine we had to do in the pre-internet era of food television: I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down the recipe. 

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce



I actually had to watch the TikTok video a couple of times because GenZs have this tendency of talking way too fast which makes taking notes very complicated. Not to mention that while I was busy taking notes, Niece was complaining that I borrowed her iPhone for more than 60 seconds — which apparently is the maximum amount of time a teenager can be parted from it.

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce
Anyways, kudos to TikTok for this recipe.
I was honestly surprised when I found out how good it was: Full of umami, tang, and kick.
All you need to do is bake the feta cheese, tomatoes, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and oregano until soft, before mashing it all together with a fork. That’s about it.
The oven does all the heavy lifting for you and the cleanup is minimal which makes it incredibly low-effort.

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce
Mashing it with a fork makes it pretty creamy but with some small chunks of baked feta and tomatoes here and there. If you like a smooth pasta sauce I recommend blending it with a blender.
All in all, a simple pasta sauce that requires little to no effort and that is packed with flavor.

Baked Feta Pasta
Baked Feta Pasta Sauce                                                                                                                             Print this recipe!

A couple of notes: for a creamier texture use Greek feta (made from at least 70% sheep’s milk) in lieu of feta-style cheese made from cow’s milk.
Though any shape of pasta you have on hand will do, I recommend a medium-length pasta that perfectly holds the pasta sauce (I used rigatoni).

Ingredients
Serves 4

2 pints (500 gr) cherry (or grape) tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 block (7 oz / 200 gr) feta cheese
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Red pepper flakes to taste
Ground black pepper to taste

12 oz / 340 gr medium-length pasta (such as penne, rigatoni or rotini)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Arrange tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat.
Place the feta block in the center of the baking dish surrounded by tomatoes and place garlic cloves in between tomatoes.
Drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst their skins. Remove from the oven to allow it to cool slightly. Transfer tomatoes and feta into a large bowl with all the juices and the garlic and mash with a fork until evenly combined.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Reserve one cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Mix the sauce with the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water until reaching the desired creamy consistency. Take a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve!

Nutrition facts

One serving of sauce (sans pasta) yields 283 calories, 26 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein.

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