Thank god for the viral food trends that keep us occupied, soothed and well-fed.

From whipped coffee and cloud bread to eggy sandwiches and handy wraps, the past few months could be defined by the foodie challenges and obsessions that have come from social media. And the most recent one has arrived just in time for Valentine's Day. 

While first lockdown was a time of banana bread after banana bread, and laboriously whipping coffee and sugar to create fluffy, whipped coffee, now in our third lockdown we're craving something filling, comforting and – crucially – low effort. 

Enter: the viral TikTok feta pasta. 

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Salty and tangy feta, sweet roasted tomatoes and a hit of garlic, it's no wonder this creamy and decadent dish has gone incredibly viral – especially when you see how easy it is to make. 

Although not invented by a TikTok user, this very popular dish has been brought to new audiences thanks to its low-fuss nature. As for who started the trend, there's the origin story and the origin story: Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen shared a recipe for baked feta and tomato pasta in 2019, which became so popular the country allegedly ran out of feta. 

If you ask the Greek TikTok community, however, they'll say that the method has been around for centuries and is a common way of cooking feta. 

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The recipe reached new levels of fame after popular food TikTok user @cookingwithayeh – the same woman who made folded wraps mega viral on the platform, too – posted her version. Explaining that she'd heard about a pasta dish that was "so popular in Finland that it actually ran out of feta cheese", she shared her take on the easy recipe. 

Adding cherry tomatoes and garlic to an ovenproof dish, she dressed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano and mixed them around. Then she added a block of feta cheese in the centre, seasoned it with more oregano and olive oil and put that in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst and the feta has turned golden brown. 

Ayeh then squeezes the garlic out into the tomatoes and mashes them with a fork to add to the flavour. Breaking up the feta with a spoon and mixing it with the tomatoes, she adds freshly cooked pasta and stirs it through. For a final flavour flourish, she adds fresh basil leaves. 

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Her tutorial currently has over 10 million views, but it's not the only feta pasta video going viral. Other versions include adding a variety of veggies to the sauce to bump up the nutrients, or an "authentic" Greek take that includes one spicy frigitello pepper or pepperoncini. 

Ayeh herself has run with the feta pasta idea, offering twists on the original such as a mushroom pasta and a baked goats cheese version.