From Viral Tik Tok Sensation to a Real Food Kitchen

By Tabitha Bean, ’23

We did it, we finally tried it.

This past weekend my roommate, my brother and I decided we wanted to try the Tik Tok sensation that has caused feta to be sold out in grocery stores across the world. This baked feta pasta is said to have originated in Finland and is now trending across multiple social media platforms. Known for its wildfire food trends such as whipped coffee and pancake cereal, food is taking Tik Tok by storm. With everyone trying their hand at the baked feta pasta, this seemingly simple recipe is already sprouting new variations featuring different kinds of cheeses, vegan renditions, and more.  

So in order to understand what all the hype was about, we tried it so you don’t have to. (Spoiler alert: you should definitely try it.)

This recipe is simple in terms of ingredients, with feta being the main event. The basic recipe consists of a block of feta cheese, enough cherry tomatoes to cover the bottom of a pan, your pasta of choice, any desired spices and herbs, as well as a couple good glugs of your favourite olive oil. However, if you delve into the social media world of feta pasta like we did, you will soon find dozens of variations and personal takes. Since the recipe is relatively basic, it is super easy to add a personal touch with different kinds of cheeses and veggies. We tried to follow the recipe as close to the original form as we could find with the addition of a few vegetables to give it some seasonal flair (mushrooms, because mushrooms).

We started by emptying two containers of cherry tomatoes into a cast iron skillet, making sure none were on top of one another. This was followed by drizzling a generous amount of slightly-too-expensive olive oil and tossing it with the tomatoes, a variety of herbs, and a couple cloves of garlic. 

Now for the main attraction! We nestled the beautiful block of feta cheese in the center of the sea of red. After giving it one more go around with the oil and seasoning, we slid the pan into the oven.

Tik Tok offers many different cooking temperatures and times but we tried it at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 35 minutes and it turned out beautifully. If you’re unsure, take it out when the tomatoes have blistered and the cheese is taking on a delicious golden color around the edges.

Whilst the pan vibes in the oven, boil your desired pasta shape on the stove; we went with shells but anything that holds sauce should work. 

After the tomatoes and cheese come out of the oven, smash the garlic cloves with a fork or spoon and mix it all together. Pour your strained pasta into the pan and mix mix mix!

This is totally optional but we sauteed some onions and mushrooms and popped those on as well. Serve it almost immediately.

This dish is simple, delicious, and impressive; a feel-good dish packed with real, whole food.

Phone didn’t eat first this time!

Viral Tik-Tok Feta Pasta Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 block feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried italian seasoning (basil, rosemary, oregano)
  • 12 ounces dried pasta
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
2. In a skillet or baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and toss to coat. Place the feta cheese in the center of the tomatoes and garlic, top with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle the entire dish with red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, and a little black pepper. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
4. Mash the feta and tomatoes with a fork and mix until evenly combined. Mix the sauce with pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. 

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