This is a fantastic way to use your bounty of cherry tomatoes just coming on right now. The dish this was inspired by presented this as an appetizer to be scooped onto bread or crackers. I have no doubt that would be amazing, but when I saw it, all I could imagine was generously pouring the flavors over a simple pasta. It did not disappoint and will be a staple this summer/early fall and many to come. So easy and absolutely packed with fresh flavors.
In a strange departure from my typical salt-tooth, I felt that the kalamata olives were too overpowering, but a jury of 3 tasters were equally split so I included them in the recipe as optional. Notes~ If you want to make an appetizer out of it, I suggest you cut the recipe in half! And in the picture above, there is pecorino cheese sprinkled on top as well. Up to you!
Baked Feta and Cherry Tomato Bruschetta Pasta (serves 4-6, or 3 in our house.)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup Kalmata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 8- to 10-ounce block feta, sliced ~1/2” thick
1lb pasta of your choice (I think linguini would be best, but we had it with gluten-free brown rice spaghetti and it was excellent)
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, shallot, garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.
In the oven: Heat oven to 400°F. Place the pieces feta in the middle of your dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes wilt. (The feta will not melt, just warm and soften.)
While mixture is baking, cook pasta to your taste, then drain and toss with olive oil.
Serve over freshly cooked pasta; eat immediately. As it cools, the feta will firm up again but it can be easily reheated or eaten cold for breakfast.
Adapted from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen.