Baked Feta Pasta

Thanks to TikTok there are so many viral food trends / hacks / challenges that have gone viral. While I may not have the app myself that doesn’t mean I am immune to them. There are some I am willing to try and others that are a quick no.  I did try Dalgona Chocolate and while it was good, I have not made in since. As I mentioned in that blog post, I don’t see it worth the extra time. And while I may like pickles, I will pass on Pickle Juice Salad Dressing. I did recently make my own Hot Cocoa Bombs and those were a delicious success that I will definitely be making again. A post will be coming soon. Another success, one of the latest trends, Baked Feta Pasta.

This is probably one of the simplest things I have ever made. After preheating my oven to 400 F. I combined two pints of grape tomatoes, a quartered shallot and olive oil in a 9×13-inch baking dish. I seasoned everything with salt and red pepper flakes and then tossed it all together. I placed an 8oz block of feta cheese in the center and then drizzled the top of the feta with olive oil and placed a few sprigs of thyme over the tomatoes. I baked this in the oven for about 40 minutes. While the feta was in the oven, I cooked a box of pasta per the box directions, reserving a 1/2 cup of the water. I would avoid using spaghetti or angel hair pasta. I opted to use Rotini.

Once the feta began to melt and the tomatoes were bursting, I knew it was ready.

I removed it from the oven and added my cooked pasta along with the reserved pasta water and used tongs to toss everything together. And that was it! Dinner was ready in less than an hour and didn’t require much effort on my part. And yes, in case you are wondering, this did reheat well.

While I kept mine simple, you can add in spinach, garlic, basil and so forth to add in some extra flavor. One thing I will do different next time, add in more shallots. They have a nice sweetness when baked in the oven.

 

Baked Feta Pasta

Ingredients:

2 pints grape tomatoes

1 shallot, quartered

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Crushed red pepper flakes

1 8oz. block feta cheese

3 sprigs thyme

10z. pasta

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In 9×13-inch baking dish combine the grape tomatoes, shallot and most of the olive oil (reserve 3 tablespoons to drizzle over the feta). Season with salt and red pepper flakes and toss to combine.

Place the feta in the center of the tomato mixture and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Place the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bursting and the feta cheese is golden on top.

While the feta is in the oven, bring a large pot of water to boil, season with salt and cook pasta per the box directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the dish with the tomatoes and feta and toss to combine.

Recipe from Delish

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Caprese Salad

While browsing through my Instagram feed last week I came across a picture that made me stop and double-tap immediately! If you’re on Instagram and you’re not following Foodgawker you should definitely go check them out and start following them. They post amazing pictures of food that you can get the recipes to by visiting their website. And most of the recipes are ones that you can easily make in your home kitchen – which we can all agree is very important! If you love quick recipes, mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella this is the recipe for you! And if mushrooms are not your thing – I think it’s something that people either love or hate – but if you love Caprese salad, you may want to think about roasting the mozzarella and tomatoes next time you make it – it really enhances the flavors.

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I began by cleaning out the gills of the mushrooms and wiping them with a damp paper towel. To remove the gills I used a small spoon to scoop them out. Now, I know there are some people who opt not to clean out the gills, and I did a little research (a quick Google search) as to which is the proper way to eat Portobello’s and it really comes down to personal preference. For me, I prefer them gone because sand could be trapped within the gills and the sand is not going to come out when you cook them and I just think they look “cleaner” when the gills are gone.

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Next, I melted butter with two cloves of crushed garlic in the microwave and brushed the garlic butter on the bottom of each of the mushrooms.

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Once the mushrooms were prepped I sliced grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into thin slices and placed them inside of the mushrooms.

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With the broil set to high I placed the mushrooms in the oven and broiled them for about ten minutes, until the cheese was melted and beginning to brown.

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While the mushrooms were in the oven I made a balsamic glaze to drizzle over them. I combined balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan and brought it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it was reduced by half. Once the mushrooms were done I took them out of the oven and transferred them to a platter and top them with torn basil leaves and the balsamic glaze.

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These mushrooms were absolutely delicious!  Caprese Salad is delicious on its own, but once you roast the tomatoes and bring out some of their sweetness and the mozzarella is melted it’s just a whole other level of delectableness. And the heartiness of the mushroom to go along with it makes this a great main dish with other vegetable or as a quick side.

 

Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos

Ingredients:

Garlic Butter:

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Mushrooms:

6 large Portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, wiped clean with a damp paper towel

1 cup grape tomatoes, each tomato sliced into thirds

Fresh mozzarella*, thinly sliced

Fresh basil, torn into pieces

Balsamic Glaze**:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsps. brown sugar

 

*I used about half of a 12oz. pre-sliced log, cutting each piece into strips

**You could also use store bought

 

Directions:

1. Arrange oven rack to middle of oven and preheat the oven to broil on the high setting.

2. Combine the garlic and butter and melt the butter in the microwave or in small saucepan on medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Brush the bottoms of the mushrooms and place them, buttered side down, on a rimmed cookie sheet.

3. Fill each mushroom with tomatoes and mozzarella and place them in the oven, broiling them until the cheese has melted and begun to brown (about 8 – 10 minutes.)

4. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving dish and top with the basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

To make the Balsamic Glaze:

Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat allowing the mixture to simmer until the mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze, 5 – 8 minutes.