This viral pasta dish made its rounds online and immediately made its way into my weeknight dinner rotation. It’s easy, versatile, and loved by everyone who has tried it. This version is packed with asparagus, mushrooms, and basil, but you can swap out for your favorite vegetables and herbs to make it your own.
1. Preheat oven to 425*F. Heat a large pot of well-salted water to boil.
2. Combine tomatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms in a 9x13 baking dish. Toss with minced garlic, ½ cup olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Make space in the center of the vegetables and add the feta cheese block.
4. Drizzle the feta with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with additional pepper.
5. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tomatoes burst and the feta is golden brown.
6. Halfway through the cooking process, add pasta to boiling, salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water and then drain. Set aside.
7. Immediately after baking, use a fork or wooden spoon to break up the feta and begin to mash it into the olive oil to create the sauce. Use the burst tomatoes and (if necessary) splashes of reserved pasta water to thin and blend the sauce to your liking.
8. Add the cooked pasta and basil, then toss and coat everything in the sauce.
9. Taste first, then season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
- Swap out asparagus and mushrooms for other vegetables like spinach, zucchini, broccoli, or artichoke hearts.
- Sheep’s milk feta will create the smoothest sauce, whereas low-fat or crumbled feta will not blend as well.
- Stir in a cooked protein at the end to bulk it up - I like to use sautéed garlic shrimp, shredded rotisserie chicken, or browned ground turkey.
- Easily change the flavor profile up to your liking - sub rosemary or thyme for basil to make this dish more earthy, add fresh lemon juice and zest at the end to brighten it up, or sprinkle in red pepper flakes for heat
20 oz cherry tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces
8 oz button mushrooms, halved
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling
10 oz short cut pasta such as penne, bowtie, rotini, or cavatappi
4 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 basil leaves, minced
8 oz block feta cheese (not low-fat)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes