Pasta

Penne with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce

Perfectly cooked al dente penne pasta tossed with a super quick and Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce. This sauce can be used in so many ways like over a juicy chargrilled steak or baked into a potato gratin but it’s especially good tossed with pasta for a simple and comforting weeknight meal!

An overhead shot of plates of pasta with gorgonzola sauce and a block of melting gorgonzola in the background

I love dem carbs and I love them even more tossed with a rich, indulgent and intense cheese sauce. Yup, this gorgonzola sauce is insane and yet it’s so simple to make that it’s ready by the time the pasta is cooked.

What Kind of Gorgonzola to Use?

When it comes to gorgonzola there are two main types you’ll commonly see in your local supermarket or Italian deli; dolce or piccante. Dolce meaning sweet in Italian is much creamier in texture and when left out at room temperature it oozes and becomes soft, creamy and much more instense in flavour.

The piccante varieties which mean hot in Italian are much firmer and have a spicier taste but not in a hot chilli kind of way. The taste is very tangy and stronger tasting and it can often leave a slight warmth in your throat….yup I am a cheese freak!

The BEST gorgonzola to use for this recipe is by far the dolce kind and luckily it’s much more common to find if your supermarket only sells one kind. For this gorgonzola sauce you want the creamy, rich flavour without the overpowering tang of the piccante cheese.

Why You Should Leave Gorgonzola Out of the Fridge

I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in flavour when the cheese is left out of the fridge for a few hours before cooking with it or even just eating it with crackers and chutneys.

The flavour develops and intensifies so much more and you really notice a difference in the gorgonzola pasta sauce. I recommend leaving it out of the fridge 4-6 hours before cooking with it for best results.

Short on time? Don’t worry I’ve tested this recipe with the cheese straight from the fridge and believe me you are still going to have yourself an incredible meal.

How to Make Penne with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce – Step By Step

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Important: Make sure to serve 1/3 pasta water.

Meanwhile, put the milk and butter in a large deep sided skillet or pan and heat until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted add the gorgonzola and stir until melted.

Step by step photos for making penne with creamy gorgonzola sauce

Add the cream and 1 tbsp parmesan with a good pinch of pepper.

Tip: both cheeses will give seasoning to the sauce so you probably won’t need much salt, always taste it before adding.

Cook the sauce until the pasta is ready and then add the pasta water. Add the cooked pasta and toss until evenly coated, serve with an extra grating of parmesan.

What’s the Best Pasta to Use?

This particular pasta sauce is very versatile and would work well with most pasta shapes. I’ve gone for penne but you could use rigatoni (ziti), spaghetti or bucatini (thick, hollow spaghetti). Just choose your favourite and it’ll work well.

One thing to remember when using longer pasta shapes is that the sauce is a thicker consistency so you might need to add a little extra pasta water for tossing with longer pasta.

Also make sure to use high-quality pasta, if you want to make your own homemade pasta dough then check out my recipe and have a play around with shapes or if going for dried choose a good brand like this one.

Other Ways to Use this Gorgonzola Sauce

This sauce can be used is so many ways you don’t have to stop at pasta. Why not try serving it with a chargrilled steak or chicken breasts wrapped with prosciutto? If you cook the sauce for a minute or two longer it will thicken slightly and be perfect for pouring oven dishes like that.

If you love potato dauphinoise or gratin then this sauce would work great for an ultra creamy, cheesy potato bake. You could also toss it with gnocchi, gnudi or oven roasted asparagus, the list is endless!

A side shot of penne pasta with gorgonzola sauce on a rustic plate with a fork

Is Gorgonzola the Same as Blue Cheese?

Blue cheese refers to all cheeses with blue mould such as Stilton, Roquefort, Danish Blue and Gorgonzola. There is a whole range of endless cheeses that come under the name ‘blue cheese’.

The blue mould comes from Penicillium which is a culture that is added at the time of making the cheese. It’s then left to age in a temperature controlled environment where the blue veins or spots develop throughout the cheese. It’s completely safe to eat and gives the cheese a very distinct, strong and salty flavour.

Tip: if you see mould growing on the cheese that’s totally different from the rest or has a furry looking texture that means it has gone off and it’s time to throw it out.

Top Tips for Making this Recipe Perfectly

  • Don’t overcook the pasta, for al dente you should cook dried penne pasta for around 8-10 minutes. Every brand will be slightly different but always check your pasta after 8 minutes and keep an eye on it because overcooked pasta is the worst!
  • Choose Gorgonzola dolce and not piccante.
  • Leave the gorgonzola out of the fridge for a few hours (4-6) if possible you will notice a difference in flavour but if you can’t manage it you can still use it straight from the fridge.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce, not the other way round, you want the pasta to soak up every last drop.
  • The sauce should just coat the pasta and there shouldn’t be any runny creamy sauce swimming around at the bottom.
  • If the sauce is too thick for your liking add a little more pasta water.
  • Don’t be tempted to add more cheese or cream or the sauce will become too rich and sickly (I’ve tried).
  • You can make the sauce in advance and let it cool and store in the fridge. It will probably thicken so add a little pasta water or if not making it for pasta add a touch of milk to loosen it.
  • The pasta is best served immediately.

More Recipes with Gorgonzola You Might Like:

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5 from 5 votes

Penne with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce

Perfectly cooked al dente penne pasta tossed with a super quick and Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce. This sauce can be used in so many ways like over a juicy chargrilled steak or baked into a potato gratin but it's especially good tossed with pasta for a simple and comforting weeknight meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Gorgonzola Pasta, gorgonzola sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 568kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 14 oz (400g) Penne pasta
  • 3.5 oz (100g) Gorgonzola
  • 2 tbsp (30g) Butter
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) Milk
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream (double cream in UK)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan grated
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Pasta water
  • Salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Make sure to serve 1/3 pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, put the milk and butter in a large deep sided skillet or pan and heat until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted add the gorgonzola and stir until melted.
  • Add the cream and 1 tbsp parmesan with a a good pinch of pepper (around 1 tsp freshly grinded) and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook the sauce until the pasta is ready (around 3 minutes) and then add 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the cooked pasta and toss until evenly coated, serve with an extra grating of parmesan.

Notes

  • Don't overcook the pasta, for al dente you should cook dried penne pasta for around 8-10 minutes. Every brand will be slightly different but always check your pasta after 8 minutes and keep an eye on it because overcooked pasta is the worst!
  • Choose Gorgonzola dolce and not piccante.
  • Leave the gorgonzola out of the fridge for a few hours (4-6) if possible you will notice a difference in flavour but if you can't manage it you can still use it straight from the fridge.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce, not the other way round, you want the pasta to soak up every last drop.
  • The sauce should just coat the pasta and there shouldn't be any runny creamy sauce swimming around at the bottom.
  • If the sauce is too thick for your liking add a little more pasta water.
  • Don't be tempted to add more cheese or cream or the sauce will become too rich and sickly (I've tried).
  • You can make the sauce in advance and let it cool and store in the fridge. It will probably thicken so add a little pasta water or if not making it for pasta add a touch of milk to loosen it.
  • The pasta is best served immediately.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Penne with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 568 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 466mg 19%
Potassium 336mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 76g 25%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 11.4%
Calcium 23.1%
Iron 7.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Dannii
    March 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    That creamy sauce looks SO good. I love a simple pasta dish like this.

  • Reply
    kim
    March 12, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Love this simple, delicious pasta meal! So easy to follow and it has so much flavor!

  • Reply
    Patty
    March 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Mouthwatering! I so love gorgonzola sauce and yours look perfect! Totally agree with you about al dente pasta, I can’t stand overcooked pasta, my son will be so happy when I make this recipe, thanks!

  • Reply
    Rosa
    March 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Mmm this looks amazing. Pasta is my weakness and when you smother it in creamy cheesey goodness….OH EM GEE!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    March 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Oh wow 😍 is there a better combo than carbs and cheese?! This is so comforting and I absolutely LOVE how quick it is!

  • Leave a Reply

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