The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.
~ Bill Gates ~
Hmmm, never thought I would be quoting Bill Gates, but when it comes to viral recipes it seems appropriate to have a quote from an internet fundi. What is a viral recipe you might ask? If you use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Tik Tok you will know that there are millions of recipe videos on social media. And the more you look at them, the more the algorithm will predict for you. I get hundreds of them – some very weird, some interesting and some really over the top. I have definitely seen a recipe video for chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese, wrapped in bacon, crumbed and deep-fried. Sandwiches stuffed with Macaroni & Cheese and deep-fried?? You could probably find that too. So it’s safe to say you have to be discerning in which videos you try out.
Quick and Easy
In our rushed world where most families have to have two people getting an income, the buzz words are ‘quick’ and ‘easy’. So if you see a recipe for an old favourite that has been updated to be quicker or easier, those are the recipes to try. 3-Ingredient Banana Bread or One-pot Pasta would definitely qualify. That’s why I knew when I saw the Baked Feta Pasta recipe go viral that this is one of the good ones. Who doesn’t like a baked pasta dish? Even better if it uses only two dishes and takes 30 minutes to make. And it’s vegetarian. A five-star recipe if there ever was one. And if you see how many people have made it successfully, you will realise that it’s hard to make a flop of this one. So yes I tried it, yes it works, and yes it is delicious!
Simplicity is the key
They say most recipes are created by accident. The chef makes an error but saves it in some way and a new dish or technique is born. The original author of the Baked Feta Pasta recipe is a Finnish food blogger called Jenni Häyrinen. Her blog is called Liemessä. It seems as if she just thought up this incredible recipe without messing anything up. I am certain that it is delicious because it is so simple. So what exactly happens in this fantastic recipe? Cocktail tomatoes, a round of feta cheese, garlic, chilli flakes and olive oil go in a baking dish and is baked for 30 minutes. Once the tomatoes are blistered and the feta is bubbly, you mix it all up together. Squish the tomatoes to get the juice out and then add cooked pasta. Et voila – Baked Feta Pasta!
Baked Feta Pasta
- 2 boxes cherry or cocktail tomatoes I prefer mixed colours
- 2 blocks feta I used 3 smaller rounds
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2-4 cloves garlic I used them whole, you can also slice or crush them
- 1 t red chilli flakes Fresh sliced chillies will also work
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 g pasta shapes
- bunch of basil leaves to serve chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the feta in the middle of an oven-proof dish and scatter the washed cherry tomatoes around the feta.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and season with chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
- While the tomatoes and feta is baking, cook the pasta shapes until al dente.
- Once the tomatoes are blistered and jammy and the feta has gone bubbly, mix everything in the oven dish together, squishing the tomatoes and garlic (if whole).
- Add the cooked pasta. Mix well, add the chopped basil, season and serve!
- It is easy to add yummy extras to this dish. I added sliced white mushrooms to the tomatoes before baking and some crispy bacon and extra parmesan cheese to serve.
- If the mixture looks dry when you are ready to serve, loosen with some reserved pasta water.