TikTok-Inspired Baked Bourbon and Feta Pasta
simple pasta recipes
Rabbit Hole Distillery
By now, TikTok Pasta - or more specifically, "Baked Feta Pasta" has become a major recipe trend. While there are lots of slight variations, there are none that incorporate BOURBON into the sauce. This single addition creates a symphony of flavor; the bourbon not only adds a layer of complexity, but the alcohol and naturally occurring notes of the bourbon in this TikTok pasta variation acts as a "bridge" between the tomatoes, olive oil, feta, herbs and spices.
1/2 cup fresh basil leave chiffonade (ribbons)
1/2 teaspoon each of pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
One 8-ounce block organic feta cheese, drained and lightly pressed
2.5 pint containers of cherry tomatoes
10 ounce container of mezze rigatoni pasta
3/4 cup cold-pressed (unfiltered) extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed
1/4 cup premium bourbon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and move rack to center.
In a medium sized bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Place the feta in the center of the tomatoes.
Bake until the tomatoes have split open and the feta has softened (about 30-40 minutes).
Increase oven temp to 450 degrees F, then continue to cook until the tomatoes and feta are golden brown. NOTE: Keep careful watch - usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water, then drain well.
As soon as the tomatoes and feta come out of the oven, stir in the garlic and bourbon. Use the back of a large wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes and feta into a smooth and creamy sauce.
Add all of the the pasta and half of the basil until evenly coated. Add pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time, if the sauce becomes too thick.
Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
Add the remaining basil and a a sprinkle of sea salt for serving.
Serve warm, and with a glass of bourbon on the side!