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Baked Feta Pasta

This recipe had its origins on social media - Tik-Tok I believe - and quickly went viral.  It's popularity isn't terribly surprising as it is as easy to prepare as it is delicious to eat.  A short, simple list of ingredients cooked then mashed with a fork yields a creamy texture that is hard to resist.  Recipe sourced from the Washington Post.

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
cup evoo, divided
1-7 oz. block Greek feta cheese (see notes)
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more if desired
12 ounces dried pasta (see notes)
fresh basil leaves for serving  
S&P to taste  


Position rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 9x13" baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic and of the oil.  Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.  Place the feta cheese in the center of the tomatoes and garlic, top with remaining oil, and sprinkle the entire dish with the red pepper flakes and a little black pepper.  Bake for about 40 minutes until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins. 

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.

Mash the feta and tomatoes with a fork and mix until evenly combined.  Mix the sauce with the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry.  Adjust for S&P as desired, divide among the serving bowls and top with plenty of basil leaves.

Notes:

  1. Greek feta is made from sheeps milk, and is usually considered superior to the cow's milk version so prevalent in America, but if you can't find it cow's milk feta will still work fine
  2. Piece pasta such as rigatoni or rotini is preferred becase it's shape allows the sauce to cling better

 

 

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