Most of us have heard of, watched, and maybe even made this TikTok recipe. I wanted to lighten it up. The original version uses way too much feta cheese. A serving of the TikTok pasta is packing your arteries with a 1/2 block of feta cheese which is 4 ounces! That’s enough cheese for 4 people. You can use a lot less cheese and still have a creamy, delicious pasta. I added more tomatoes, used less feta cheese and cut back on the olive oil. For a creamier sauce, I suggest using sheep’s milk feta rather than cow’s milk feta. Feta made from sheep’s milk produces a smoother, nicely textured sauce. Use your favorite pasta shape but I love serving this sauce over bucatini, a long, hollow tube of pasta. To build a balanced plate, fill half your plate with sauteed greens like Swiss chard or spinach.
Baked Feta and Tomatoes over Bucatini
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 pints cherry tomatoes
1 block sheep’s milk feta (about 7-8 ounces)
Red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
12 ounces bucatini pasta
Fresh basil or parsley, about 1/2 cup, chopped
- Turn oven to 400 degrees. In a ovenproof deep saute pan or Dutch oven, add the olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes and stir to coat them in the oil. Place the block of feta on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and ground black pepper. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
- When there’s about 10 minutes left for the sauce to finish cooking, cook the bucatini until al dente, as directed on the package. Save 1/2 cup pasta water.
- When the tomatoes are browned and bursting and feta is soft and toasted, remove from the oven. Add the fresh herbs and stir the feta into the tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes to release their juice. Stir until creamy. Add the cooked pasta directly from the pasta water to the baked tomato feta sauce and toss together. Add extra pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.
Note: For extra flavor, consider adding 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds when you add the tomatoes in step 2.