Ricotta Is The Ingredient You Need To Balance Strong Flavors In Feta Pasta

feta pasta in dish
feta pasta in dish - Timolina/Shutterstock

Even though the viral baked feta pasta was trending in 2020, this meal remains a popular dinner. This creamy, decadent pasta dish combined the spice of red chili flakes, the sweet, acidity of tomatoes, and the sharp, tangy flavor of feta into a delicious one-pan sauce. However, for some people, the intense flavor of the feta was overwhelming for their taste buds. An easy way to balance the strong flavors in feta pasta is to add ricotta to the sauce. Ricotta is a whey cheese with a creamy, mild, subtly sweet flavor and is popular in Italian cuisine.

For the feta pasta, ricotta adds more creaminess to the dish and helps emulsify the sauce. The light flavor from the ricotta works to tone down the strong feta into a more palatable sauce. You still get the basic essence of the feta pasta, but with a flavor that is friendly for more mild-tasting palates. The ricotta also brings out the sweetness of the cooked tomatoes. Overall, the cheese brings a more balanced flavor to all the ingredients, letting each one shine in its own way.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

How To Add Ricotta To Your Feta Pasta

fresh ricotta on plate
fresh ricotta on plate - Tashka2000/Getty Images

Adding ricotta to your baked feta pasta recipe is as simple as the viral recipe itself. You'll add your ricotta in before you bake your dish. You only need around half a cup to a cup of ricotta to achieve the desired effect. You can choose how much you'd like to add based on how much you want to mild out the flavors of the feta. After adding your ricotta you'll bake your feta, tomatoes, and ricotta like you normally would for the recipe.

When adding your pasta to the baked sauce, be sure to reserve pasta water before draining your noodles. The pasta water will help thin out your sauce a bit and allow it to bind to your noodles better. Plus, pasta water gives your sauce a nice glossy look. Make sure you have enough pasta water for your desired consistency.

After you've incorporated your pasta and sauce together, be sure to taste your dish. You might need to add more salt since the ricotta tames some of the saltiness of the feta. You also might discover you'd like to add more red chili flakes to your dish. Ricotta tones down some of that spice you get from the chili flakes. You can experiment to find your perfect ratios, whether that be using less feta or adding more ricotta. You can even try this recipe with other cheeses such as goat cheese or boursin.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.