Some of the world’s best pasta wheat actually comes from wheat grown in the desert southwest, including Italy’s famous pasta. Known for its extended shelf life pasta is a staple of panic buying, because of the Coronavirus pandemic the National Pasta Association estimates sales increased by 18% across the U.S. Arizona farmers are planning on planting double the amount of Desert Durum wheat seeds next season as pasta prices are estimated to increase.
The pasta-bilities are endless.
The exact origins of the trending dish are unclear — some say Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen was first to release the recipe in 2019 with “UuniFetaPasta,” while others believe Tiiu Piret initially debuted it in 2018 with “Prosecco Spaghetti,” HuffPost reports.
The popular pasta came stateside when chef and “Food Network” competition winner MacKenzie Smith shared her spin on baked feta pasta in late January, in a TikTok clip that’s received over 3 million views. To date, the hashtag #bakedfetapasta has over 56 million views on the social platform, where a video shared by Cooking with Ayeh has been viewed over 11 million times on its own.
According to Ayeh’s instructions, the recipe itself is easy enough for any home chef to follow. First, bake a block of feta cheese in a bed of cherry tomatoes seasoned with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and oregano. Then, mix your preferred pasta directly into the dish and serve, for a bowl of heavenly goodness.
Ayeh also claimed in her video that stores in Finland were running low on feta cheese as a direct result of the recipe’s popularity, although a cheese-industry expert recently told Yahoo! Lifestyle that no such shortage has been recorded.
In any case, one industry insider speculates that the trend will only continue heating up in the months to come.
On Friday, Instacart trend expert Laurentia Romaniuk told Fox News that “feta” is currently the top trending search term on the food shopping marketplace, while other “TikTok Pasta” ingredients are trending strong among the platform’s top ten searches.
“According to Instacart data, ‘feta’ is currently the number one trending search term on the marketplace. We also noticed that other ingredients from the viral baked feta pasta dish are trending right now with searches for ‘cherry tomatoes’ and ‘basil’ breaking into the top ten searches on the platform,” Romaniuk said in a statement. “We believe the tremendous increase in searches for these ingredients is largely due to consumers eagerly wanting to try the baked feta pasta TikTok recipe for themselves.”
Looks like we’ve got just the dish to serve for an at-home Valentine’s Day date on Sunday, too.