pasta

Baked feta pasta involves baking pasta with tomatoes, onions, spices and feta cheese.

CASA GRANDE -- Few things are as comforting as a nice, cheesy baked pasta dish. Pasta is always easy, versatile and delicious.

As I always enjoy trying out the various viral TikTok food trends that come along, I was excited to try the baked feta pasta recipe that recently made its round across the internet.

This is a recipe that’s fun to share because it’s easy — almost too easy. But it’s delicious and can be adapted to suit just about any taste, using any kind of pasta, whatever spices are preferred and various amounts of cheese.

Baked feta pasta involves simply baking pasta with tomatoes, onions (or shallots), a handful of spices and feta cheese.

Most of the internet recipes call for an 8-ounce block of feta cheese. I used 4 ounces of crumbled feta because I was using a cheese-stuffed tortellini (I didn’t want it to be too cheesy), and it came out perfectly. After baking, we sprinkled a little bit of jalapeno-infused feta crumbles on top just to give the pasta a spicier kick.

This dish was not only easy, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser.

The feta cheese is a nice switch from the traditional mozzarella that’s used in most baked pasta dishes. It’s sharp and tangy while still adding a creaminess to the pasta dish.

For those considering calories, mozzarella and feta are pretty close. Mozzarella cheese has about 85 calories per serving. Feta cheese has 80. But mozzarella is much lower in sodium, with about 176 mg per serving versus 370 for feta.

While the recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, any kind of tomato could be used, or a favorite pasta sauce.

Baked feta pasta

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ onion, chopped

½ cup olive oil

10 ounces of cooked pasta

4 to 8 ounces of feta cheese

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, spices and half the oil in an oven-safe dish and stir. If using feta crumbles, stir half of those in as well. If using a block of feta, place on top of mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.