One-Pan Feta Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes
In 2018, the Finnish blogger Jenni Hayrinen posted a recipe for baked feta pasta. The dish became a full-on TikTok sensation, popular to the point that supermarkets were selling out of feta. This version streamlines her recipe. Instead of cooking the pasta separately, it’s added to the casserole dish with the baked feta and tomatoes, turning it into a cozy one-pan meal. (Also note that you’ll need an electric kettle to boil the water. So maybe it’s more like a one-and-a-half-pan meal.) Don’t think of this as a pasta dish in an Italian, al-dente sense. It’s more like a creamy casserole along the lines of mac and cheese. In any case, it’s comforting and supremely easy.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pints cherry tomatoes
- 5garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 5thyme sprigs
- 2rosemary sprigs
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt
- ½cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 8ounces feta
- ½teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving
- Pinch of red-pepper flakes
- 12ounces short pasta, such as farfalle, campanelle, rotini or cavatappi
- 3cups boiling water
- 1cup torn basil leaves
- Flaky sea salt, for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow 2-quart casserole or gratin dish, or an 11-by-7-inch baking dish, combine tomatoes, garlic, thyme, rosemary and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Toss with 1/4 cup of the olive oil to coat. Place the feta in the middle of the dish, and top with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle the black pepper and red-pepper flakes over everything. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins.
Step 2Add the pasta to the pan in an even layer and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the boiling water on top. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully submerge pasta. Cover tightly with foil and bake until pasta is al dente, 17 to 19 minutes. Remove from oven and let the pasta stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb the excess liquid.
Step 3Stir in basil until everything is well incorporated, and the tomatoes and cheese create a creamy sauce. When serving, top with more black pepper, oil and flaky sea salt.