Yes, we are putting one foot on the bandwagon with this one. We know you’ve all seen, and are already tired of seeing, the viral baked feta cheese and pasta craze that has swept the internet. This recipe draws inspiration from that, with some unique twists that help make this a fresher and lighter tasting version than what you’ve been pummeled with over the past weeks. We are subbing out the feta cheese for ricotta salata cheese, which doesn’t melt, even after being in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F. What you ultimately end up with are blistered tomatoes and hot cheese crumbles which give this version a pleasant texture that is absent in the baked feta recipes. We also decided to add fresh basil and use veggie rotini pasta which, while outside the norm, really added to the refreshing Mediterranean flavors that are packed into this dish. All in all, this is a healthy dinner option that masquerades as comfort food. If you're into the Mediterranean diet, then you’ll be into this recipe.
Pro Tip: Slice up and mix in some grilled chicken for a protein packed super meal. Some other items you could add are hot peppers, like serrano or fresno chilis, for some heat and an even more complex flavor profile. Finally, this dish would be a great vehicle for Caesar dressing if you’re as into that kind of thing as I am.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min