Today is our monthly easy and budget friendly recipe day. I feel like coming up with easy but delicious dinners night after night is a challenge so I love this series. I have gotten some really good dinner ideas over the last several months, I’ll link all the posts as a resource for you at the bottom of the post.
When I was deciding what to share this month, one recipe kept popping into my head. It is super easy and has just a few ingredients, and it has been really popular on TikTok and Instagram for just that very reason. So much so, in some cases I have heard it called “Tik Tok Pasta”, so that is the recipe I am sharing (with my modifications of course) for you all today.
I have been making a recipe that is very much like this for years, but my recipe called for the addition of shrimp which takes it to a whole new level. With that definitely elevates this to a “company” recipe, it is really good, even on its own during the week. This was a hit all around in my house, even those who prefer meat dishes to vegetarian ones agreed it was good.
This recipe calls for just a few basic ingredients–a carton of cherry tomatoes (buy the largest one you can find especially if you have big eaters), a block of feta cheese (though you can also make it with goat cheese I hear, I am going to try that next), pasta of your choice and then basic ingredients like fresh garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and freshly ground pepper. The key is (really I think this is true with most cooking) to use best of class ingredients like ripe tomatoes, good quality feta, fresh basil leaves (not dried) and freshly minced garlic (again, not dried).
To make this you just pour some olive oil in a baking dish, then cover with the cherry tomatoes on the bottom. Place the block of feta in the center (it’s ok if you have the crumbled kind, a block just melts better) and then pour a little olive oil and grind some fresh pepper over it. Bake this in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
While it is baking, prepare your pasta. Chop several cloves of garlic and mince some basil. You can also make this with zucchini noodles if you don’t want carbs. If you are adding the shrimp, boil it now so it is ready to be tossed in the final dish.
To finish the dish, crank the heat in your oven up to 450, add the garlic to the feta mixture and toss everything around. Let it all cook for about 10 more minutes and then remove, add some hot cooked pasta to the pot and mix well. Then top it with fresh basil. Serve while still warm! I added with a green salad and some garlic bread, it was a hit all around.
Easy Tomato Feta Pasta
A budget friendly, simple to make dinner recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free options)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (large or extra large)
- 1 block feta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic fresh
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T fresh basil chopped
- 1 box pasta (penne, spaghetti etc.) use gluten-free if desired
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Toss 1 pint cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish.
Using (either a block) or crumbled feta, place in center of dish and cover with olive oil and some fresh ground pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
While the cheese and tomatoes are baking chop up the garlic and fresh basil. Remove the baked feta/tomato mixture from the oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle the garlic over it. I also added a bit of ground oregano for extra flavor, this is optional. Bake for about 10 more minutes at 450 degrees.
Add the cooked pasta directly to baking dish and stir. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve. I add extra fresh parmesan since that always makes pasta better!
You can also add cooked shrimp to this dish to make it a more elegant main course.
Now be sure to check out what my friends are sharing today.
Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life
Here are the other recipes in the Budget Recipe Series: