Fusilli with baked cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and feta cheese recipe
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Baked cherry tomatoes and fresh scallions give us a sweetness that comes to contrast to the mild saltiness of feta cheese, the sharpness of Tabasco® and the freshness of basil. They give you the freedom to create without the murmuring.
3 people made this
- 600g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 to 6 medium onions, finely chopped
- 80ml extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 500g fusilli
- 1 bunch fresh basil, finely chopped
- 10 drops Tabasco®
- 250g spicy feta cheese or more, grated
MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr
- Preheat the oven to 210 C / 190 C fan / Gas 6/7.
- Put cherry tomatoes and fresh onions in a spacious roasting tin that suits them fine. Add 80ml of olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Toss them carefully. Try to keep an even surface so as one cherry tomato does not cover another.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until cherry tomatoes are soft and have a nice colour. Remove from the oven, taste and season if needed. Keep them hot.
- Meanwhile, boil fusilli in salted water according to instructions. When boiled al dente keep a cup of water aside. Strain fusilli and put them again in the pan.
- Add remaining olive oil, baked cherry tomatoes, fresh onions, fresh basil, Tabasco®, feta cheese and half of the water that you kept. Toss them nicely so as flavours mix together. Taste and season according to your preference. Add rest of the water if you want a more creamy sauce. Serve immediately in a bowl and sprinkle more feta cheese if you like. Enjoy!
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I love this recipe, it's easy to make, delicious and reminds me of Greece!-11 Feb 2016
Baked Feta Pasta with Tomatoes and Courgettes
With only 8 ingredients, this easy pasta dish is just perfect for warm summer evenings when you don't want to be slaving over a hot stove. Let the oven work its magic!
A block of Greek feta cheese is roasted in the oven with cherry tomatoes, courgettes, and garlic, and then mixed to create a salty cheesy sauce for the pasta and roasted vegetables.
The baked tomato, courgette, and feta pasta is not only quick and easy to pull together (making it perfect for busy weeknights), but most importantly it's SO MOUTHWATERINGLY TASTY!
Have you seen my cheesy courgette and tomato bake? Another delicious recipe using seasonal summer vegetables!
WHAT IS RATATOUILLE?
Ratatouille is a French dish that started life as a peasant dish.
It originated in Nice in the French Riviera and is sometimes called ratatouille nicoise.
It was a dish created to use up vegetables to make a cheap and easy dinner served with pasta, rice or just some crusty bread to dunk in it.
It's a stew made at the end of summer, using summer produce and tomatoes. It's a naturally vegan dish.
It can be served as a side dish or a main course.
Ratatouille is usually made in a pot, but in this dish the oven does all the work and gives it an extra richness.
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For the vegan feta cheese
- 10.5 oz firm tofu
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp miso
- 0.25 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
For the cherry tomatoes
- 35.25 oz colorful cherry tomatoes
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 395°F (200°C).
Prepare the vegan feta cheese - using a high-speed blender or a food processor, blend all the feta ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.
In a large baking dish or an ovenproof frying pan, mix the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the feta cheese, thyme, and oregano, and drizzle the olive oil.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the pasta (I used spelt fusilli pasta).
Remove the pan from the oven, add the pasta and basil, mix together and serve.
Baked Mozz and Feta Pasta
Feta Pasta is all over our TikTok feed, and for good reason – it’s tangy and absolutely bursting with flavor… which reminded us a lot of our fresh mozzarella. We’re going to give a try here, with a Big Mozz twist. This recipe made Finland run out of feta cheese (also they call it uunifetapasta, which is great), and after trying our version of this delicious, creamy, cheesy pasta dish, we hope it’ll make us run out of Fresh Mozz too. The best way to get some? Our virtual Mozzarella Making Class. You’ll use a little less than half of the mozzarella you will make in class, which means you won’t have to hold back on sampling your work as you go.
A few notes: try to use Greek feta – it’s made with at least 70% sheep’s milk, which we found is less gritty than cow’s milk feta. Also, we’re going to smash the garlic rather than chop it, which will add some wonderful garlicky aroma and sweetness, but you can remove the garlic easily before serving.
Since we’re going to mix in a few spoonfuls of pasta water at the end to encourage the sauce to be a little saucier, we strongly recommend cooking your pasta in your mozzarella make-water. It’s buttery and salty and makes the most unctuous noodles ever. It’s one of those things that if you know, you know. And for a no-carb version: zucchini noodles.
Roasting tomatoes is very straight forward. If you want to add more flavor, you could add some spices or dried herbs to the tomatoes before roasting. The exact roasting time will vary depending on the size of your tomatoes, and the temperature of your oven. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to burn.
Slice tomatoes in half, and add to a baking sheet covered baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, and spread them to make sure they get baked evenly. Bake them for about 15 minutes on 200 C / 180 C fan oven / 390 F, or until the tomatoes have started to brown slightly.
TikTok Tastings with Leila- “Viral Baked Feta Pasta”
TikTok Famous Baked Feta Pasta sauce before going in the oven!
If you’re like me, then TikTok has probably taken over your life. From the comedy skits, dances, and endless recipes, TikTok really has it all! Since its rise at the beginning of the pandemic, the hundreds and thousands of TikTok food videos have made trying new recipes quick, easy, and fun. There’s the whipped coffee recipe, the cloud bread, the Gigi Hadid pasta, and so many more easy recipes to make while trying to break the quarantine boredom. Foodies like me have most probably seen this Baked Feta Pasta dish all over their ForYou pages recently.
Not only is this Mediterranean Mac and Cheese of sorts super delicious, but it is also very easy to make. The one-pan method makes clean-up super easy. While baking, the juices of the tomatoes marinate the warm, salty feta, creating the lightest, tangiest, sweetest pasta ever. It is said that this pasta used to be made so much that it once left Finland without feta cheese! The first video made about this dish, made by Cooking with Ayeh on TikTok, was posted a week ago, and it seems like everyone has already made this pasta.
For this, the first edition of TikTok Tastings with Leila, I made the baked feta pasta so you don’t have to. Well, maybe you do have to because it is delicious.
The baked feta pasta reminded me of something you would find on a Greek island after spending all day swimming, dancing, and tanning in the sun. It’s light, cheesy, but not too heavy, and, above all, super easy to make. The best part about this pasta is the lack of dishes you have to clean once you’re done. The one-pan method keeps everything tidy and allows all the flavors and ingredients to marinate with each other while cooking, leaving you with an incredibly addicting dish.
I started off by adding two packs of cherry tomatoes and 5 peeled garlic cloves into a pan. I then added a block of feta cheese right in the middle of the pan. Next, I generously coated the contents in the pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Don’t be shy. Add a ton of seasoning, the more the merrier! Looking back, I feel like I did not use enough. I put the pan in the 400-degree oven for 40 minutes and cooked a bag of pasta.
When it came out of the oven, I smashed the garlic and mixed everything together before adding in the pasta with some of the pasta water. The amount of pasta water you add is totally up to you. The tomatoes naturally have a lot of juices, and the olive oil that you put in the pan also adds tons of liquid, so only add the pasta water if you feel it’s necessary. The less pasta water you put in, the creamier and thicker your pasta will be. After thoroughly mixing everything together with the pasta, I sprinkled on about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and a bunch of chopped, fresh basil. The basil part is absolutely crucial. Finally, I served it in the same pan in which I cooked it.
This was such an easy and fresh dish that I know I will be making again. Each bite had a perfect combination of creamy, sweet, salty, and tangy. This dish was a lot easier and a lot more delicious than expected.
2 packs of cherry tomatoes
A pack of pasta- whichever kind you like, I used fusilli
- Add 2 packs of cherry tomatoes to a pan and mix them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and chili flakes (to taste)
- Peel 5 garlic cloves and add them to the pan. Do not cut the garlic.
- Create a hole in the center of the tomatoes and place the block of feta in that hole. Season the feta with the same seasonings used for the tomatoes.
- Bake the dish in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
- While the dish is cooking, make one pack (16 oz) of any shaped pasta you would like. Make sure to save a half cup of pasta water.
- When the tomato and feta dish is done cooking, take it out of the oven and smash the garlic with a fork. Mix together the garlic, tomatoes, and feta cheese before mixing in your cooked pasta. Add pasta water depending on the desired consistency of the pasta. If you would like it to be thicker, don’t add the pasta water.
- Top the dish with some fresh basil and seasonings to taste
Leila Soleimani is a junior at Milken in her first year with The Roar. She is currently the Co-Representative of her house and loves helping her fellow.
- First, bake the feta cheese and tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper. Place the feta cheese in the center, drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and bake.
- Then boil the pasta. Salt some water, boil the fettuccine until cooked through, save some pasta water, drain the rest and set aside.
- Next, mix it all together. Stir the pasta into the feta/tomato dish, adding reserved pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce. Divide onto plates and sprinkle with fresh basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
The great thing about this recipe is how simple it is, but it can easily be adjusted to your tastes by swapping out some ingredients or adding in more.
- Fettuccine Pasta can be replaced with your favorite pasta. Linguine or spaghetti work great or if you’re feeling more of a macaroni style you can use elbows, penne, farfalle, fusilli, etc. Or, go low carb and use a roasted spaghetti squash!
- Grape Tomatoes add in a second pint of tomatoes for some more veggie goodness! Onions, shallots and even zucchini would make a great addition to this dish.
- Feta Cheese is best in the block because it becomes golden and delicious easier, but if all you can find is crumbled, just pile it up in the center of the baking dish. Some people have used vegan feta cheese too. Goat cheese is similar to feta and would likely work the same, but a ricotta could be delicious too!
- Seasonings and herbs are pretty interchangeable in this dish. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, skip it or use parsley or oregano instead. Thyme would be a great addition too. Don’t like spice? Don’t add the crushed red pepper!
To make this Baked Feta Pasta, you simply toss the sauce ingredients and bake them in the oven until cheese is melted. And it’s the oven where all the magic happens.
Below are 4 simple steps to make this baked feta pasta:
Prep for the sauce by seasoning tomatoes and placing feta in a baking pan.
Bake the sauce ingredients.
Boil pasta according to the package instructions.
Smash the sauce ingredients, and toss the sauce with pasta. Done!
For a full list of Baked Feta Pasta recipe ingredients and step-by-step photo and video instructions, please see the recipe box on this page.
TikTok-Inspired Baked Feta Pasta
2 pints (20 ounces) cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 8-ounce block feta cheese, drained
10 ounces mezze rigatoni
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the cherry tomatoes and olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Pour into a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Place the feta in the center of the tomatoes, then season with a pinch of black pepper. Bake until the tomatoes have burst and the feta has softened, about 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 450 degrees F, then continue to cook until the tomatoes and feta are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 13 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain well.
Right as the tomatoes and feta come out of the oven, stir in the garlic. Use the back of a spoon to smash the tomatoes and feta into a smooth and creamy sauce (it’s OK if some of the oil isn’t fully integrated and combined). Toss in the pasta and half of the basil until evenly coated. Add some pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time, if the sauce becomes too thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining basil and a pinch of flaky sea salt for serving.
A lot of TikTok videos show users making this dish with a whole pound of pasta. Resist the urge to use the whole box and just use 8 to 10 ounces. You want the baked tomato and feta sauce to coat the pasta nicely. Any more pasta will make for a dry dish.
Use a short pasta for this recipe, such as a rigatoni, penne or fusilli instead of long noodle like spaghetti or linguine. Short pasta will easily stir into the hearty sauce and be more enjoyable to eat.
Once the pasta is finished boiling and just al dente, reserve some of your pasta water, then drain. A splash of this warm, starchy water will help loosen the sauce if it becomes too thick.
Make sure to buy a good-quality feta for this recipe, particularly because it’s the main ingredient and flavor of this dish! We suggest using a medium or firm Greek feta made only from sheep’s milk. Feta made from cow’s milk tends to be crumblier and more sour in flavor compared to other varieties.
Not only does the olive oil prevent the tomatoes from burning, but it also helps to cook (or confit) the tomatoes, providing a smooth and rich mouthfeel. I promise, you want to use the full 1/2 cup!
We kept it simple with the seasoning, including salt, pepper, garlic and basil. However, feel free to add dried oregano or an Italian seasoning blend before baking for added flavor. However, avoid lemon juice, vinegar or parmesan, as this dish already has intense flavor and acidity.
The balance of salt is very important in this recipe you can go from perfect to overly salted with just a couple extra granules. We suggest adding just a small amount of salt to the cherry tomatoes, then finishing the dish with a pinch of flaky sea salt . This will make your tomatoes and feta shine without over doing it.