Tik Tok-Inspired Baked Feta Pasta + Weekly Menu

I exhibited some bravery today. I ran errands…with my children…in the rain (I HATE rain). Living with Gen “C” (I hear this is what COVID kids are called…is this a thing?) has gotten a bit dicey at times. They’re SO accepting of being at home, getting them to go anywhere can be a real challenge. For safety reasons, they’ve gotten out of un-fun things like grocery shopping, etc for much of what they can remember in life.

With a bit of bribery and just a few tears, we were out the door by 10am. Teeth brushed, hair done. The kids and I. Be impressed, folks. I sure was. Stop #1 was birthday card shopping. Stop #2 was Panera for coffee. Stop #3 was TJ Maxx…or so we tried. As it ends up, they didn’t open until 11am. However, when we pulled up at 10:47am and the lot was BARREN, I was just sure that our last remaining retail store was gone forever.

After checking the sign and sighing in relief that we were just too early, we headed to PetsMart to pet a kitty and have Shea beg to get a mouse-hamster-fish-bearded dragon. The request changed, aisle by aisle. As we were walking in, Piper was requesting a squirrel. Oh man…

After 11am, we returned back to TJ Maxx where I found a few new plates and bowls for blogging that I just couldn’t live without, much to Mark’s dismay. And our kids touched, picked up, and begged for EVERYTHING in the store. Gen C and retail is a very scary thing. These girls in the Easter décor section were like 2 kiddos at Disneyworld the excitement level was so high.

I feel like we have a year of social etiquette growth to make up for and doing so has been painful. Friday night we turned our back at dinner and they were ON TOP of the pool table. SMH. I am trying not to raise wild animals, but it isn’t always easy! The other day, an Amazon truck was pulling out of our road and Shea exclaimed, “Amazon!” I was shocked she could recognize the symbol/read the word (she’s in kindergarten) and when asked, she told me it’s a store where you buy things. Yep. All the things.

Tik Tok, however, is where you go to lose hours of your life. It’s highly addicting and for that reason, I avoid it. Successfully up to this point, anyway. When the Internet nearly broke after this recipe went viral, I was sure to check it out. As it ends up, it went viral with good reason. This dish is bomb.com! If you love feta, that is. There are quite a few spins on this recipe and so I landed on: lots of garlic, crushed red pepper, and spinach added. Hope you love it!

Tik Tok-Inspired Baked Feta Pasta

Tik Tok-Inspired Baked Feta Pasta

Yield: 6 servings (~1 2/3 cups each)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Rich and creamy, this feta-laden meal is comforting, simple, and memorable!

Ingredients

  • 2 pints (20 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) block feta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz dry pasta, shape of preference
  • 4 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Pour most of the olive oil over the top, along with the salt, pepper, and garlic; toss well. Place the feta block in the middle of the baking dish, pushing the tomatoes to the sides so that the cheese lays flat against the bottom. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the feta and sprinkle with the crushed red pepper.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 7-9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and set pasta aside.
  5. Remove the feta mixture from the oven and use a utensil to mash the feta into a sauce, mixing with the oil. Add in the spinach and mix to wilt. Add the pasta, basil, and if desired, reserved pasta water. Serve hot.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 2/3 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 27.0gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 559mgCarbohydrates: 53.7gFiber: 2.5gSugar: 6.0gProtein: 11.0g

 Pasta lover? Same here. Check out some of these recipes that are perfect for spring!

Weekly Menu: March 28th – April 1st

Be well,

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