This delicious creamy quick pasta alla gorgonzola dish is so easy and quick to make that the sauce comes together in the time takes to cook the pasta. Serve by itself or with a simple arugula salad for a tasty impressive meal.
Why you’ll love it
- It’s delicious, decadent, and super creamy.
- It comes together in under fifteen minutes.
- You can serve the yummy sauce over vegetables, gnocchi, polenta, or shirataki noodles if you decide to skip the pasta or have leftover sauce.
I made this recipe a lot back when I first went vegetarian until I discovered that Gorgonzola is not actually vegetarian as it contains animal rennet. If you are vegetarian, an easy swap is using Dolcelatte cheese which is very similar to Gorgonzola. If you can’t find Dolcelatte, any other mild creamy vegetarian blue cheese will do, you can even use feta or goat cheese with the rind removed.
Similarly, be careful of Parmesan, in Europe veggie Parmesan will be labeled hard Italian cheese, while in the US it can be labeled Parmesan (but not Parmigiano Reggiano) and still be vegetarian, double-check the back of the packaging.
Ingredients and substitutions
You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to have tasty creamy pasta in minutes, check the image below to see what you’ll need at a glance, and scroll down below to see if any substitutions can be made if you’re short on something or don’t wish to use it.
Pasta: Use whichever pasta you prefer. I like to use penne rigate (“ridged” penne) rather than regular smooth penne as it holds the sauce really well. Fusilli is also great and long pasta like spaghetti is amazing as well, just thin the sauce a little more with longer pasta so it coats the strands better.
Créme Fraîche: If you can’t get créme fraíche or don’t feel like making your own, heavy cream is the perfect substitute. I don’t recommend using sour cream as it will curdle when cooked, likewise do not substitute low-fat créme fraîche or low-fat heavy cream. The fat percentage needs to be at least 30% in order not to curdle during cooking.
Gorgonzola: As I mentioned above, I’m vegetarian so I now use Dolcelatte cheese for making this dish. If you can’t find Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte, although not ideal you can substitute with any mild creamy blue cheese, or goat cheese with the rind removed.
Butter: I use salted butter in this recipe, but you can use unsalted and just add a little more salt to taste. I use a high-quality grass-fed butter like Kerrygold.
Parmesan: Gran Kinara or Italian-style hard cheese are your best bets to use instead of Parmesan, use freshly grated parmesan and not the store-bought pre-grated stuff as it’s tossed with additives to stop it clumping that also stops it from melting into the sauce quickly.
Garlic: I think everything is better with garlic but if you don’t like it you can omit it. Don’t substitute with dried ground garlic as it won’t have enough time to rehydrate in the sauce.
Salt: Pasta dishes, and the pasta itself, really need to be salted well to bring out the flavors, swap for a low or no-sodium version if preferred.
I’ve kept it really simple here to really let the flavors shine through, but you can of course add in some extra ingredients. Some which really pair well with this sauce include:
- Fresh spinach and walnuts. Halve the walnuts and toast in a separate pan for a few minutes, and mix in with the finished sauce.
- Arugula and black olives. Slice the olives and add the arugula just before tossing the sauce with the pasta.
- Peas! Toss some frozen tender baby peas in with the gorgonzola.
How to make it
Step-by-step photos in this section will show you how to make your yummy gorgonzola sauce (or dolcelatte sauce!) while your pasta is cooking. Make sure to set the water to boil for the pasta before starting the sauce, and salt it well.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to reserve one cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pasta and tossing all the water away!
- Add the butter to a very large pan or wok (you’ll need enough space for the sauce and then the pasta as well) and set the heat to medium-high. When the butter has melted, add the crushed garlic and cook for one-two minutes, stirring often, until the raw garlic smell has gone.
- Add the créme fraîche or heavy cream and allow it to heat up for five minutes, stirring every now and then.
- Crumble in the gorgonzola or dolcelatte and whisk in. Leave to cook a further five minutes, whisking every so often.
- The cheese should be melted and incorporated by now. Turn off the heat and add the salt and parmesan and whisk until smooth. Take off the stovetop and leave to one side to cool slightly while the pasta finishes cooking.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water, and add the hot pasta to the pan with the sauce.
- Toss the pasta well with the sauce until nicely coated. Add the pasta water a little at a time until the sauce is perfectly loose and flowing. You might not need to use all the pasta water so just add until it’s at your desired consistency.
Serve immediately as is or pair with a green side salad. Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
- A medium or large saucepan for cooking the pasta.
- A large deep pan or work for making the sauce.
- A garlic press.
- Kitchen scales, preferably electronic.
- Optionally, measuring spoons and cups.
- A cheese grater.
- Most supermarkets only stock one type of Gorgonzola (there are two types, dolce, and piccante) and it tends to be dolce even if it’s not labeled and that’s the type you need for this recipe.
- Most mild blue-veined cheeses like Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte can benefit from being taken out of the fridge at least two hours before use as the flavor becomes more intense when not chilled.
Leftovers can be stored once cooled and tightly covered in the fridge for up to five days.
To reheat, the easiest way is in the microwave. Microwave in one-minute increments, adding a little water (2 tablespoons) each time and stirring to incorporate until the sauce is loosened and the pasta is hot (around four to five minutes). Don’t be tempted to heat in two or three-minute increments as the sauce will seize.
You can also reheat on the stovetop on low heat with a lid, adding a little water and stirring often until hot.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No, it never is, as it’s a DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin) product it must be made a certain way with animal rennet, so vegetarians who avoid rennet-containing cheese should substitute Dolcelatte instead.
Yes! Just make the sauce and cover and refrigerate until you need to use it. Then make the pasta, drain (reserving a cup of pasta water), add the pasta back to the pot, and add in the sauce. Keep at low-medium heat and stir until the pasta and sauce are warm enough, then thin a little with the pasta water and serve.
Did you make this dish? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐and a comment below.
- 1 pound Penne rigate (454 grams)
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 cups creme fraiche or heavy cream (480 ml)*
- 10.5 ounces Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte (300 grams)**
- ½ cup grated Parmesan (50 grams)***
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Put the water on to boil for the pasta and salt it well. Cook according to package instructions.
- Melt the butter in an extra-large pan or work over medium-high heat. When melted, add the crushed garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell of the garlic is gone, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Add the créme fraîche or heavy cream and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Crumble in the Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte and cook a further five minutes, using a whisk to incorporate the cheese by gently and occasionally whisking.
- Take the sauce off the heat and add in the salt and Parmesan. Whisk until smooth and leave to one side until the pasta is done. Taste and add more salt if needed. The sauce will thicken slightly while the pasta finishes cooking.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water, and add the hot pasta to the pan with the sauce. Toss until coated then add the pasta water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring to incorporate, until the sauce has loosened to your liking (you probably won't need to use the whole cup).
- Enjoy! Serve as is or pair with a light green salad.
* Either créme fraîche or heavy cream is fine as long as they are at least 30% fat or they will curdle when cooking - so no low-fat versions, no Greek yogurt, no half and half, etc.
**Other alternatives include any mild blue cheese or goat cheese without the rind.
***If vegetarian remember that Parmesan in Europe is never vegetarian and in the US only sometimes, check the packaging to make sure, or opt for a vegetarian Hard Italian Cheese instead.
Serving Size1 large plate
Amount Per Serving Calories 838Total Fat 70gSaturated Fat 43gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 206mgSodium 1181mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 29g