Fusilli with roasted cherry tomatoes and marinated feta

fusilli 2

I have a “thing” for cherry tomatoes. They are sweet like cherries and juicy like strawberries. Feta and tomatoes scream Greek summer and this recipe is fresh, summery, healthy and delicious. You can marinate the feta up to a week in advance. The flavours will develop and you will have a spicy, aromatic, tasty feta cheese swimming in fragrant olive oil. Eat this pasta, at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. Summer is (finally) coming.

roastedtomato

Ingredients

  • 500 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 400 grams chopped tomatoes from a can
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 500 grams fusilli or farfalle pasta
  • 200 grams marinated feta (recipe follows)
  • 1/3 cup black olives, pitted
  • 3 Tbs pine nuts, dry roasted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Basil leaves to garnish

Marinated feta

  • 200 grams feta, crumbled
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

Marinate the feta cheese: Put all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure all the feta is coated in olive oil. Cover bowl and put in the fridge. You can prepare this a week in advance.

Roast the tomatoes for the pasta: Preheat oven to 175 C. Put cherry tomatoes in a roasting pan, cut side up. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the oregano. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.

Make the sauce while tomatoes roast: Heat over medium heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to colour. Add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes and add the chopped tomatoes and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce has thickened slightly

Assemble the pasta: Cook the pasta in plenty of water, seasoned with salt, until cooked al dente. Keep 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain. Throw drained pasta in the large skillet with the tomato sauce. Mix well over medium-low heat for one minute.

Take skillet off the heat and add the roasted tomatoes, olives, half of the pine nuts and half of the marinated feta. Mix, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer pasta in a serving platter. Scatter the remaining feta on top and the remaining pine nuts. Drizzle the feta oil, garnish with basil leaves and serve.

This pasta is great served also at room temperature or straight out of the fridge.

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