Let’s quickly re-cap for those that may be wondering why their instagram and tiktok feeds have been so filled with feta recently. In 2019 Finnish blogger Jenni Hayrinen posted a simple baked feta pasta recipe which gained huge attention in Finland (the country temporarily experienced a feta shortage). More recently however it went viral across the globe after a few popular TikTok users made their own versions of the recipe.
In short, the recipe involves baking a big ol’ block of feta cheese in the oven with some cherry tomatoes and aromatics before smashing everything together into a rough sauce which is then stirred through freshly cooked pasta.
In order to ensure that the creator gets her deserved credit I won’t post the recipe, but you can find it on her wonderful blog by clicking HERE.
The cooking instructions are all spot on. The times and temperatures given worked just as the recipe said and the only change I would make is to reduce the amount of oil used. It calls for 125 ml but I think you could go with half the amount. The recipe also says it feeds 4 and while that is sort of true, you won’t have any leftovers and if you’re feeding a big eater, you’d want to increase the quantities a little.
There is no doubt that making the pasta is easy but so are most pasta sauces. The genius of this recipe is that there isn’t the maintenance required. No standing by the stove to sauté onion and garlic, or watching as wine, stock and passata reduce down. It simply gets put into the oven and left.
Set and forget.
The completed dish also isn’t about to win any beauty contests and is not a very instagram-worthy dish, somewhat ironic given it’s online popularity. But who cares about the look? It’s the taste that matters and this dish tastes, well, good. It’s not a mind-blowing taste sensation and there isn’t anything new. No secret ingredient or until now, never been used ingredient combination. Eating it, it reminds me of the kind of Italian pasta dish you may have been served at your late 90’s local suburban Italian trattoria (garlic bread just out of sight), which in the context of a fuss-free mid-week dinner is just what you want. The dish is rich and comforting with very familiar tastes of tomato, cheese and pasta and so good for when you’ve had the kind of day when a quick meal prep is needed and no risks should be taken.
My advice is to walk, not run, but definitely give it a try. If nothing else, the novel way of preparing it and by the shear fact it’s a recipe that’s having a moment adds an element of fun to the whole dining experience.