Baked Feta Pasta with Machaca Recipe

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, chances are you’re familiar with this recipe. It’s the viral TikTok baked feta pasta! When we signed up for TikTok (give us a follow: @PCBeefJerky) we were amazed–and honestly a bit skeptical–at the sheer volume of videos relating to this recipe. A quick hashtag search for #fetapasta turned up 818 million videos. So, we decided it was time for us to put it to the test! But with a jerky spin of course. 
 
Let us be the first to admit that it did not disappoint. The prep effort required for this recipe is minimal, but that does not reflect the final taste of this dish. It’s quick and easy, yet comforting and delicious. 
 
The sweet and tangy mini heirloom tomatoes blend with rich and creamy baked feta cheese to create a perfectly balanced pasta sauce. Throw in some garlic, fresh basil, simple spices, and pasta, and you’ve got yourself a damn-near perfect weekday dinner.
 
Something still seemed to be missing though. Something to add an extra boost of flavor. Something salty, steaky, and umami... something like our Carne Seca - Machaca!  
 
Our Machaca is beef jerky that's been finely shredded to a light and airy texture. And since it’s non-perishable, it’s a great ingredient to have on hand when your recipes need a beefy boost! Now onto the process.

The Process

Thankfully this recipe is as easy as it is tasty.
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, gathering all of the ingredients listed below, and grabbing a baking dish.
Image of TikTok Pasta Ingredients
Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a baking dish and mix until the tomatoes are thoroughly coated in the oil and seasoning. Push the tomatoes towards the outside of the baking dish to create a well in the center. Place the block of Feta in the center, and bake for 40-45 mins. 
Image of Viral TikTok Pasta Pre-Bake
Cook your pasta according to package instructions, while the feta is baking. Reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water before draining. This pasta water will help to thin out the sauce to your desired thickness. 
When the feta and tomatoes are done cooking, remove from the oven and immediately add the garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, and machaca, and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. You should end up with a thick and creamy sauce. 
Image of Viral TikTok Baked Feta Pasta Sauce
Stir in the drained pasta, and add pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce, if too thick. Stir in your torn fresh basil leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Image of Viral TikTok Baked Feta Pasta

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