Photo by Anne Braly / The popular TikTok Pasta dish starts with a couple of pints of cherry tomatoes and a block of feta cheese.

I've never been on TikTok. I don't have the app and, until recently, I didn't intend to get it. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram keep me happy and busy enough. But a recent recipe that took TikTok by storm has me rethinking my hesitation to get another social-media app.

This cheesy tomato-pasta dish was so popular that, according to TikTok, Finland ran out of feta cheese. Fortunately we don't have that problem in Chattanooga, but some stores, such as my local Walmart in Soddy-Daisy, don't carry blocks of feta cheese, and that's what this recipe calls for. Food City did, though.

The recipe calls for 9 ounces of pasta. Use any type you want. I used linguine, but rotini, angel hair, elbow — any type you want — will work in this dish.

While the tomatoes and cheese are baking and on their way to becoming delicious, boil the pasta. When the tomatoes are ready, mash them together with the feta and the pasta and remaining ingredients, and the dish is done.

It makes quite a bit, but it's delicious as leftovers. I served it with grilled pork tenderloin one night, and the next night added a little rotisserie chicken and used it as a main dish.

Shrimp would be very good, too. Just think of it as an Alfredo, only with tomatoes. This is such a rustic dish, it deserves to be cooked in a cast-iron skillet. You can mix it all together in the skillet and serve it tableside. It makes a beautiful presentation. Garnish with another bit of fresh basil or bay leaves. And don't forget to serve it with some good crusty bread.

I'll go ahead and say that I will be getting on TikTok every now and again if it has recipes like this one.


TikTok Pasta

1 1/2-2 pints of cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

1 8- to 9-ounce block of feta cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

9 ounces cooked pasta (I used linguine)

1/2 cup half-and-half, optional

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add cherry tomatoes to a casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes, and toss to coat. Place the block of feta cheese in the center of the casserole dish on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the entire dish with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are roasted.

While the tomatoes and feta cheese are cooking in the oven, boil the pasta to al dente stage, and set aside.

Take the casserole dish out of the oven, and immediately start to mash the cherry tomatoes and cheese together in the dish. Stir in cream (optional), parmesan cheese, basil, garlic and pasta. Continue stirring until everything is incorporated. Makes 8-10 servings.

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File Photo / Anne Braly