Welcome to Made on TikTok, the series in which I try out and review the weird and wonderful recipes that go viral on TikTok.
There are many different sides to TikTok, and more than you might realise at first - whole genres of short videos dedicated to different interests and hobbies. If you’re a keen reader, you’ll probably enjoy BookTok. Or maybe you’re into skateboarding, in which case, SkateTok is where you need to be.
If, like me, you enjoy all things foodie, then FoodTok (are you sensing a theme?) is what you should check out.
I would describe myself as fairly competent in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes, so I’m always intrigued by all the different kinds of foods I see people going crazy for on my ‘For You’ page on TikTok.
If you’ve spent any amount of time online, then you'll undoubtedly have come across the baked feta pasta that basically broke the internet.
On TikTok, it was claimed that this recipe caused supermarkets in Finland to sell out of feta cheese - that’s how many people were making it.
The life cycle of the recipe on TikTok went as follows: recipe goes viral, everyone is making it and posting their videos online, the recipe is adored and hailed as a one pot wonder.
Slowly, as the popularity of the dish reaches its peak, the nay-sayers come out of the woodwork, calling it bland or awful.
I had heard pretty mixed reviews on this dish so really it was time to try it for myself.
How to make baked feta pasta
The recipe I followed, which is widely credited as the “original”, comes from Liemessa.
These are all the ingredients that you’ll need:
- 450 g pasta
- One block (200 g) feta cheese
- 125ml olive oil
- Pinch of dried chillies, depending on how spicy you like it
- 500 g cherry tomatoes
- Four garlic cloves
- Black pepper
- Bunch of fresh basil leaves
|1. Preheat your oven to 200C.|
|2. Place your feta in the centre of a baking dish, and add your tomatoes, chillies, peeled garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix around and make sure it’s all covered nice and evenly.|
|3. Pop the dish in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat up to 225C and bake for a further 10 minutes.|
|4. In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the package instructions. When the pasta is ready, reserve a mug of pasta water before draining.|
|5. Take your baking tray out of the oven when its time is up, and using a fork, mash everything together to make a sauce. Add some pasta water to help bring the sauce together.|
|6. Finally, add your pasta and basil leaves and serve up.|
The final verdict
So, what was the outcome?
Is it a horrid abomination against pasta that some might have you believe? No.
Is it a groundbreaking dish the likes of which you’ve never tasted before and will never taste again? Also, no.
It’s an easy, midweek dinner that anyone can make, regardless of their ability in the kitchen. In short, it’s… just fine.
The feta, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and chilli flakes come together to make a creamy sauce to cling to your pasta. If you don’t enjoy feta, it’s safe to say that this likely isn’t for you, as the feta taste is very prominent, since it’s basically the main ingredient of the dish.
But the feta has zing, the tomatoes are sweet, the basil is fresh, the garlic is mild after being roasted in the oven and the chillies add spice - every ingredient works together.
Better yet, the recipe requires only one baking dish and one pot, so there’s hardly any chopping or prep work, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
The process of actually making the dish was very straightforward, and didn’t leave my kitchen looking a complete mess.
Simply put, it gets the job done.