If there’s one thing that happened in the past year to improve our lives, it’s that we got totally obsessed with TikTok. In a normal year, we might count that as a trivial or even depressing addition to our lives, but in 2020 we learned to appreciate even the littlest things that could put a smile on our face,. If that means streaming TikTok while waiting for a Zoom to start so we can feel even a little joy injected into our day, then so be it. That’s how we found food TikTok. From dalgona coffee to the new wrap hack, food TikTok has kept us fueled through a rough year. The latest trend we’ve fallen for is baked feta pasta, and we’re not alone, because British chef Jamie Oliver just posted his very own pukka tukka version of the viral recipe.
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The original baked feta pasta calls for feta (of course) and tomatoes, which are baked and tossed with pasta. But not everyone loves salty, funky feta. In Oliver’s recipe, he swaps the feta for milder ricotta, which could potentially make this recipe a little friendlier to families of picky eaters.
Oliver also adds more color and more nutrients thanks to a few extra veggies. He includes red and yellow bell pepper, onion, and red chiles in his recipe. He also adds a few tablespoons of capers, which brings back some of the salty kick of the original.
The chopped vegetables, ricotta, and a quick oregano oil are added to a roasting dish or a rimmed sheet pan and roasted for almost an hour. When they’re done, the baked ricotta gets removed from the pan. This is when you add your cooked pasta – Oliver goes with hearty rigatoni. The pasta and roasted veggies are mixed together right on that same pan, the residual pasta water helping to deglaze it, which creates an emulsified pan sauce.
To serve, break up the baked ricotta and sprinkle it over the pasta and roasted veggies, then add fresh oregano and grated Parmesan on top to finish.
Oliver’s gourmet twists on baked feta pasta show just how versatile the technique can be. Now we can’t stop dreaming of other ways to turn baked cheese and veggies into a meal!
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