Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Four Cheese Pasta

June 17, 2020 by Chris Collins

This four cheese pasta is luxuriously smooth and silky, ultra cheesy and utterly delicious. Better still, it only takes 15mins to make!

Four cheese pasta, quattro formaggi pasta, a food coma waiting to happen, whatever you want to call this, can we all rejoice in the fact that it’s one of the tastiest pasta recipes around? Okay good. 4 cheese pasta is a classic in many Italian restaurants and here I’ll show you how unbelievably easy it is to make at home. Follow me…

closeup over shot over pasta in skillet with wooden spoon

Four Cheese Pasta Sauce

The sauce itself incredibly simple. I tend to split it into the following three categories:

1. Base

The base of the sauce is a straight 50/50 split of milk and cream. No need for a roux, or any other thickening agent, the cheese will lightly thicken the sauce.

2. Cheese

Realistically what we all came here for. I’ve tried to keep the cheese selection as traditional as possible, whilst still using cheeses you’ll easily find at the store. Here’s what I deem to be the ultimate 4 cheese sauce:

  • Taleggio – Fairly mellow but makes a great base to build flavours and also helps create a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Gorgonzola – Even if you don’t like blue cheese I highly recommend adding this. Gorgonzola is much milder and creamier than other, harder blue cheeses. It gives a gorgeous background flavour, but won’t over power the sauce.
  • Gruyere – Adds a nice sweet and nutty flavour.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano – Is it even legal to make a pasta sauce without this?!

You can make some substitutions, I’ve added a few options in the recipe card.

3. Seasoning

The sauce really speaks for itself to be honest, so you don’t need to go overboard with the seasoning. But alongside salt and pepper, I highly recommend adding nutmeg. It really compliments the sauce and enhances those nutty tones from some of the cheeses.

Four cheese pasta sauce ingredients with labels

How to make 4 Cheese Pasta

Again, a very simple process. To thicken the milk and cream, you’ll want to begin by adding Taleggio and Gorgonzola. These melt into the sauce nicely and begin thickening it. After that just stir through your grated cheeses and add seasoning. Plonk in pasta and jobs a good’n.

Sauce Consistency

This isn’t the type of recipe where the pasta is drowning in the sauce. The sauce is light and silky, it should just wrap around the pasta nicely. If the sauce is still thin once the pasta is added, just gently simmer until it attaches to the pasta.

Starchy Pasta Water

With the same token if you over reduce the sauce, I’d always keep a cup of the water your pasta cooked in, just in case. The starch molecules help emulsify the fats in the sauce and not only help thicken it, but also turn it nice and glossy.

What’s the best pasta to use?

Here I use Mezzi Rigatoni (half rigatoni), but in theory you can use any short cut pasta you like!

Process shots: combine milk and cream (photo 1), melt in semi soft cheeses (photo 2), add grated cheese (photo 3), add seasoning (photo 4), stir in pasta (photo 5).

How to make four cheese pasta - 5 step by step photos

Can I reheat this?

You can, just don’t stick it in the microwave. It’ll dry up and go grainy. I recommend popping it back in the pan over low heat with a splash of milk, just to retain it’s original sauciness.

And there we have it! All my top tips and tricks for the best four cheese pasta.

If you’re looking for another quick and easy cheese pasta recipe then make sure you check out my Cream Cheese Pasta!

For more similar recipes give these beauties a ganders too:

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this four cheese pasta shall we!?

overhead shot of pasta in white bowl with parmesan and whole nutmegs garnished around

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How to make Four Cheese Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of pasta in white bowl with parmesan and whole nutmegs garnished around

Four Cheese Pasta

This four cheese pasta is luxuriously smooth and silky, ultra cheesy and utterly delicious. Better still, it only takes 15mins to make!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 695kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Deep Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Jug (for milk/cream)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 14oz / 400g Mezzi Rigatoni (or other short cut pasta)
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Milk
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Heavy/Double Cream
  • 3oz / 80g Taleggio, diced into cubes (see notes)
  • 1.75oz / 50g Gorgonzola, diced into cubes
  • 1/2 cup / 50g Gruyere, grated
  • 1/2 cup / 40g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp EACH Nutmeg, White (or black) Pepper, Salt (or to taste)

Instructions:

  • Pop your pasta in heavily salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Just before draining, retain a cup of starchy pasta water.
  • In a large deep pan over low-medium heat stir together milk and cream until combined. Add in your Taleggio and Gorgonzola cubes and gently stir until melted. Continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add in your Gruyere and Parmigiano and stir until fully blended. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Add in your pasta and stir to combine. The sauce should be light, silky and attach nicely to the pasta. If you over reduce the sauce, use your starchy pasta water to thin out as needed. If your sauce is still too thin, just keep it on a gentle simmer and stir until it coats the pasta.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Low Heat - you want to keep the heat on a low-medium, no higher. If at all the sauce starts rapidly bubbling just turn down the heat. The sauce will thicken and come together, just make sure it's thickened before you add in the grated cheese.
b) Cheese Subs - You can sub different cheeses, I recommend keeping to similar textures and flavours though. Here's some similar options:
  • Taleggio - Fontina or Brie
  • Gorgonzola - Any other mild blue cheese (even if you don't like blue cheese I recommend adding this, it's a small amount so quite mellow, but still packs a good amount of flavour)
  • Gruyere - Comté
  • Parmigiano Reggiano - Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
c) Can this be reheated? - I don't recommend reheating leftovers in the microwave, it'll dry up and go grainy. Just reheat on a low heat with a splash of milk in the pan to regain its sauciness.
d) Calories - based on using whole milk, no extra cheese to top and divided by 4.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Four Cheese Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 695 Calories from Fat 280
% Daily Value*
Fat 31.09g48%
Saturated Fat 18.038g90%
Trans Fat 0.159g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.058g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.792g
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 764mg32%
Potassium 451mg13%
Carbohydrates 83.18g28%
Fiber 10.9g44%
Sugar 2.58g3%
Protein 23.38g47%
Vitamin A 1114IU22%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 404mg40%
Iron 1.17mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

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