In the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably seen that time-lapse video of a block of feta roasted in a pan of cherry tomatoes melting into gooey cheesy pasta sauciness. I know I have and I wanted it pretty much the moment I saw it. In the last week, I’ve seen vegan versions, versions with burrata, ones that are used as a dip (which is actually a yum idea), and a hundred takes on the original that gained popularity after MacKenzie Smith broke the internet with her recipe. I decided to try it for myself (and you all) to see if it’s worth the rage.
While I save sixty-second cooking videos on Instagram with reckless abandon, I rarely actually try them. I will forever consider the baked feta pasta trend to be the trend of all food trends because I’ve never felt so compelled to mount my phone above my stove and make a video of myself cooking anything and suddenly I’m filming myself nesting feta into tomatoes like the rest of the web. To my surprise, this dish was actually very satisfying to make and more so to eat. The feta melts into the juices of the blistered cherry tomatoes and olive oil after browning and melting in the oven, and the lemony tangy bite you commonly find in feta makes this dish less rich than most cheese-based pastas, meaning you can eat even more. And who doesn’t love seconds?
Oh, and it is all made in one pan in the oven. Just put it all in the pot, put said pot in the oven, mix it up with some cooked pasta and you’ve got dinner that you can Instagram just like me and everybody else. Check out our recipe for Baked Feta Tomato Pasta below, and check back as we bring you our favorite takes on trending recipes in The Pantry newsletter.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In an oven-proof dish, add olive oil, cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. Mix to combine.
Make a space large enough for the feta block in the middle of the tomatoes, place feta into the dish and bake for 40-50 minutes until feta is browned and tomatoes are bubbling.
While the tomatoes and cheese bake, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water to add into your sauce later.
Remove the dish from the oven and add spinach, mix to combine, and allow the spinach to wilt; the feta should be soft and smooth. Add cooked pasta, grated Parmesan, and a splash of pasta water to the dish, mixing again to combine. Serve warm; can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.