This is the story about another viral TikTok trend that I kinda sorted wanted to hate…but didn’t. It’s not that I didn’t think the idea sounded delicious. It’s just that the whole thing seemed too simple. Obviously roasting a block of feta with bursting tomatoes is going to be amazing. But is it good enough to break the internet?
My answer, begrudgingly, is yes. It’s genius. But dare I say, not perfect? Below are my thoughts.
- You don’t need to change the oven temperature. The OG recipe calls for baking the feta with the tomatoes at 400° for 30 minutes then kicking up for the last 10 minutes. After 30 minutes in the oven, I found my feta well on its way to a pretty shade of golden on top. To avoid burning additions like garlic and herbs (see my next note), I think it’s best to keep the temperature steady.
- You can play add more than just tomatoes and feta. Quartered shallots will get nice and jammy, and smashed garlic will infuse the olive oil. Like spice? Throw in a ton of crushed red pepper flakes. Got thyme? Add a couple sprigs for an earthy touch.
- Adding pasta water helps. A scoop of pasta water will help stretch your sauce to coat your pasta more smoothly and generously.
Have you made this recipe? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: We increased the amount of tomatoes in this recipe on February 9, 2023. One pint is all you need, but two is recommended for a fuller, more flavorful sauce.
Preheat oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet or medium baking dish, combine tomatoes, shallot, garlic, and all but 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and toss to combine.
Place feta into center of tomato mixture and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Scatter thyme sprigs over tomatoes. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until tomatoes are bursting and feta is golden on top.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining.
To skillet with tomatoes and feta, add cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and lemon zest (if using) and stir until combined. Garnish with basil.
- 2 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 shallot, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (8-oz.) block feta
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 oz. pasta
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Fresh basil, for garnish