Overview:

  • This is a simple recipe in which you have to roast a block of feta cheese with cherry tomatoes, creating a salty and cheesy sauce.

Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Tomatoes: Use cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe. Using smaller-sized tomatoes means more flavor. When the tomatoes have burst the presentation looks stunning. 
  • Feta Cheese: Using a whole block of feta cheese brings the best results which is because the entire block is less processed and gives a melty texture and consistency when it is baked.
  • Pasta: Choose any type of pasta you would like– you can even use gluten-free pasta if you would like to.
  • Seasoning & Herbs: When you make this, you will need to use olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and basil. You should mix it well and add more accordingly. If you want, you can add some fresh oregano, and fresh thyme, or instead of using fresh garlic, you could use roasted garlic.

How to Make Baked Feta Pasta:

  • Make sure to use a baking dish that is safe for the oven.  Then, add and mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Make sure you combine well. 
  • Put the entire block of feta cheese in the center of your baking dish. You can flip the cheese a couple of times to make sure that it’s covered with olive oil and seasoning or you can just add more olive oil and fresh black pepper.
  • Bake the tomatoes until they burst and the feta has melted.
  • Right when you take it out of the oven, add fresh minced garlic and fresh basil leaves. 
  • Mix well so the garlic softens.
  • Put the cooked pasta on top and give it a stir. A sauce for the pasta will be created when the feta and tomatoes mix.

Tips for Making the Baked Feta Pasta

  1. Make sure to use fresh ingredients. Using fresh ingredients enhances the flavor and taste of the dish. For example, use fresh tomatoes as opposed to canned-diced tomatoes, as well as fresh basil and fresh minced garlic. 
  2. Save the water that comes out of the pasta. You should save at least ½ a cup of water in case the dish comes out dry. You can add this water back later and help the sauce become a lot more smooth and creamy. 
  3. The baking dish should be crowded with cherry tomatoes. It depends on what you want. If you want the tomatoes to be saucy, overdo the tomatoes. If you want the tomatoes to be dry, then put the cherry tomatoes in a single layer for air circulation. 
  4. For blistered tomatoes, increase the heat. Make sure the oven is on the broil setting or set the temperature at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes during the last 5 minutes of the cooking process. 
  5. Try it on the stovetop. The other way is to cook on the stovetop on medium-low heat. The cooking time is only 10 minutes and you will get similar results.

Ingredients

  • unchecked8 ounces cavatappi pasta or pasta of your own choice
  • unchecked2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • unchecked8 ounce block feta cheese
  • unchecked½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • unchecked¼ teaspoon salt
  • unchecked¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • unchecked2 garlic cloves
    • uncheckedMake sure to mince it 
  • unchecked¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil
    • uncheckedFor more servings add more

These ingredients are just for 1 serving. Add more of each ingredient for more servings.

Instructions

  1. The oven should be preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Your cherry tomatoes should be placed in a baking dish that is oven-safe.  You should put some olive oil on top and use salt and pepper for the seasoning. Mix and toss until combined well.
  2. The Feta block should be in the middle of the dish and surrounded by the cherry tomatoes and you should flip it a few times to make sure that the feta is coated with olive oil and seasoning.
  3. In the preheated oven you should bake it for 35 minutes. Bake it until the tomatoes burst and the cheese is melted.
  4. Boil and cook the pasta in a pot of salted water, while the tomatoes and feta are baking. You should drain making sure to leave ½ cup of liquid to toss in you like.
  5. You should immediately add some garlic and basil leaves in the tomatoes and feta. Mix everything together and combine.
  6. You should put the cooked pasta in the baking dish and combine. Add some more fresh basil and to garnish and serve warm. 

Freshman Anika Singhal is a Staff Writer. Her email is asingha1@fanmd.edu.

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