A Viral TikTok Recipe Revolutionizes Pasta!
There’s two new variations below
This TikTok recipe raced onto most media sites for its sheer genius. Because it is so groundbreaking I’m expanding my recipe categories with a new offering: “EVR” which means, “Effort Versus Reward.” When a recipe hits 4-stars and is easy to make— it goes into the EVR department: that means the recipe will change the way you cook.
This technique creates a “Mac & Cheese” version without the fuss.
SERVES 3 – 4
INGREDIENTS: Choosing real sheep’s milk feta in block form is the best way to test this recipe
- pasta – 8 oz, I enjoy cavatappi, any macaroni works
- feta – 8 oz, whole piece
- tomatoes, cherry – 2 pints
- olive oil, 1/2 cup
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic, fresh – 2 tsp, minced
- basil, fresh – 1/2 cup, chopped, [or parsley, oregano to taste]
PROTEIN [optional] – add cooked beans, rotisserie chicken, tuna, etc at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and start a pot of water with enough salt so it tastes like the ocean
- In a casserole add the feta and surround with the tomatoes and pour olive oil on top. Stir around and flip the feta to coat in oil
- Season with salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions, making sure it is just al denté. Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup pasta water
- Prep the garlic and basil
- Take the casserole out of the oven and immediately stir in the garlic and basil while breaking up the feta to create a creamy sauce
- Add in the pasta and blend well, adding reserved pasta water it not creamy enough
- If adding cooked protein, do so at step 8.
- Serve and enjoy
I will be testing other veggies, as the cheese is the master element with the pasta
OPTIONAL TOPPING: Heat a TBS of olive oil in a small skillet and toss with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs or panko. Stir occasionally and when it turns golden, 3-4 minutes, move off heat and toss with 2 TBS of parmesan, or pecorino. Use as a final garnish at the table
Recipe adapted by B. Hettig
FETA WITH ROASTED PEPPERS & PASTA
I flexed my cooking muscles and derived this tasty version. For a little more umami, exchange a few ounces of coarsely grated parmesan, or pecorino for feta; but add it after baking. I went so far as to add 4 cheeses for a real celebratory 4th of July [feta, parmesan, pecorino, and manchego]
- Follow the instructions above and replace fresh oregano [or dried] for the basil
- Replace the tomatoes with 2 cups of sliced roasted bell peppers or mild chili peppers, 1/2 cup of chopped green olives, and a 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- Roast for only 15 minutes
- Out of the oven stir the feta into the peppers and add in the garlic mixture and blend well
- Toss in the pasta and serve warm
- Top with toasted breadcrumbs [above left photo] and serve immediately
I have found there is more flavor when reheated, straight from the fridge!
BAKED FETA WITH HERBS
Now that you get the sense of this recipe as a template consider some leftover pasta and a mess of herbs.
Chop the herbs and when the casserole comes out of the oven toss in the pasta, 1 ounce of grated parmesan, garlic, a good grind of pepper, and herbs.
[Above: I added some frozen meatballs before baking…I could serve this in a restaurant!]
Yeah, it’s that simple to create another dish. Let’s continue!
Recipes by B. Hettig