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Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Four Cheese Pasta

November 28, 2023 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…

4 cheese pasta served in large white bowl

Four Cheese Pasta Sauce

The sauce itself is 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 overpower 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 shortcut 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

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

4 cheese pasta served in large white bowl

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!
5 from 5 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 695kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ2 / $2.50

Equipment:

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

Ingredients (check list):

  • 400g / 14oz Short Cut Pasta
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Double/Heavy Cream
  • 80g / 3oz Taleggio, rind removed and roughly diced (see notes)
  • 50g / 1.75oz Gorgonzola, roughly diced
  • 50g / 1.75oz Gruyere, finely grated
  • 40g / 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano,
  • 1/4 tsp EACH Nutmeg, Salt, White Pepper or to taste (sub black pepper)

Instructions:

  • Add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook to the package instructions minus around 2 mins (should still be a teeny bit hard). Just before draining, retain a cup of the starchy pasta water.
  • In a large deep pan over low-medium heat stir together milk and cream until combined. As the cream begins to warm, add the Taleggio and Gorgonzola and stir until they blend into the sauce. Keeping the heat on low-medium, and without the sauce coming to a rapid simmer, keep gently stirring for 4-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Turn the heat to very low, stir in the Gruyere and Parmigiano until they blend with the sauce, then season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. I typically do 1/4 tsp of each, but work to taste.
  • Add in the pasta alongside around 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water. Stir and toss the pasta in the sauce for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens into a silky sauce that clings to the pasta. It should no longer be watery, instead a light, silky/glossy sauce. The pasta should be perfectly al dente. Keep stirring until you reach this consistency (see video for reference). If it over-thickens or the pasta needs a little more cooking, just stir in more starchy pasta water as needed.
  • 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 are some similar options:
  • Taleggio - Fontina or Brie.
  • Gorgonzola - Any other mild blue cheese i.e. Dolcelatte (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 - Comtรฉ.
  • 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 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.

Your Private Notes:

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
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

 

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  • Reply
    Nick Dransfield
    August 29, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    Yet again a fabulous recipe, thoroughly approved by the entire family! Initial cheese took a bit longer to melt. The nutmeg and pepper came through absolutely super recipe yet again! Now to pre order the book!!!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 29, 2023 at 9:30 pm

      So great to hear, Nick! I’m confident you’re going to love the book!! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Lizet Bowen
    November 11, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    5 stars
    This was soo good. Creamy, full of flavor, and easy to make. My boys are learning to make it because they want to eat it every night

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      That’s so awesome to hear! Glad it went down well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Natalie
    November 11, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow… four cheese! I MUST make this very soon. My boys will love this pasta. Looks creamy and so delicious. Thanks for lovely idea!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      You’re so welcome! Hope it goes down well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katherine
    November 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    Hell yes to allll the cheese. This is the ultimate comfort food!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      You’re not wrong!!

  • Reply
    beth sachs
    November 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

    5 stars
    My favourite comfort food of all time! Delicious.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      One of mine too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Dannii
    November 11, 2020 at 10:34 am

    5 stars
    You had me at four cheese. This looks like a super comforting pasta dish.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks Dannii! ๐Ÿ™‚

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER