Penne pasta drenched in a creamy gorgonzola sauce with pancetta, mushrooms and leek. Creamy pasta recipes don’t come more delicious than this!
The moment someone asks me what my favourite cheese is, the word ‘gorgonzola’ flies out of my mouth before they’ve even finished speaking. I LOVE GORGONZOLA. Ridiculous amounts… Also, who doesn’t love pasta? You see where I’m going with this 🤣
Gorgonzola makes the perfect pasta sauce for a couple of different reasons:
- Its got a smooth and creamy texture which melts into the sauce perfectly!
- It’s fairly mild in comparison to other blue cheeses, so isn’t too overpowering.
Can I use other blue cheeses for this recipe?
Gorgonzola does make the most sense in this recipe for the above reasons, but you can sub other blue cheeses. However, I recommend starting off with half the amount and working up (so it doesn’t end up too strong). I also recommend finding a blue cheese with a creamier texture as opposed to a crumbly texture, just so it marries into the sauce better.
Leek, Pancetta and Mushrooms
Sure, blue cheese pasta is great, but let’s add a few more goodies in just for good measure.
Pancetta adds a nice salty flavour to the sauce and works perfectly with gorgonzola. It also adds a nice crispy texture to break up the creaminess of the sauce. For this recipe you can sub bacon.
Such an under-used veg (guilty of this!) goes gorgeously with blue cheese, pancetta AND mushroom. Important to clean the leek as they often carry a lot of dirt, and discard the tough green leaves. You can use these in stocks and soups.
Again, make sure you clean off the dirt. I usually go for button or chestnut mushrooms, but most mushrooms will work in this context!
To begin the pasta you’ll need to fry the pancetta first and begin rendering the fat. Then onto the mushrooms to brown, finally add the leeks to soften.
Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce
Right, here’s where things get fun 😋
This sauce itself, as you may have guessed, does indeed include cream. But it’s not actually the cream that forms the base of the sauce. Introducing:
Starchy Pasta Water
Starchy pasta water is key to so many pasta sauces and this is no exception. By adding some of the water the pasta is cooked in you not only help dilute the richness of the sauce, but the starch molecules also emulsify with the fats from the butter and pancetta to help create an ultra silky creamy sauce.
How to make Gorgonzola Pasta (quick summary)
- Melt butter into leek, pancetta and mushrooms then pour in starchy pasta water.
- Stir and simmer to reduce then pour in cream.
- Melt in gorgonzola.
- Stir through pasta.
From there, just use your starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed. It’s quite a thin sauce, you only need enough to just lightly coat the pasta so don’t go overboard. If your sauce is still thin after stirring in the pasta just keep it on the heat and stir until the sauce starts to coat the pasta.
If you like the sound of the blue cheese recipe then definitely check out my Homemade Blue Cheese Dip!
Looking for more creamy pasta dishes? Give these beauties a ganders:
- Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Salmon Pasta
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this gorgonzola pasta shall we?!
How to make Gorgonzola Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Gorgonzola Pasta with Leek, Pancetta & Mushrooms
- Large Deep Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Large Pot & Colander
Ingredients (check list):
- 12.3oz / 350g Penne (or pasta of choice)
- 3/4 cup / 180ml Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
- 5.3oz / 150g Pancetta, diced (can sub bacon)
- 5.3oz / 150g Mushrooms, sliced (I use Chestnut Mushrooms)
- 3.5oz / 100g Gorgonzola, diced into large chunks
- 1 Leek, trimmed and diced (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- In a large pan over medium heat add pancetta. Fry for a few mins until it starts to leak fat and JUST begins to brown, then add mushrooms. Continue frying until the mushrooms soften and begin to brown, then add your diced leek.
- Carry on frying, stirring frequently until the pancetta is crispy with the fat full rendered and the mushrooms/leeks are cooked through and nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, add your pasta to a large pot of salted water (season the water well) and cook until al dente. Just before draining, scoop a cup of the starchy pasta water.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter into the pan and once melted, pour in 1/2cup/125ml of the starchy pasta water. Quickly stir to emulsify the starchy water, pancetta fat and butter. Reduce it down for a few mins, stirring as you go, then pour in cream.
- Give it a good stir then melt in the gorgonzola. Once fully melted, season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for a few mins until it begins to thicken, then stir through the pasta.
- If the sauce is still slightly thin then keep it on the heat and stir until the sauce thickens around the pasta. With the same token, if the sauce soaks up too quickly then thin it back out with some more starchy pasta water.
Quick 1 min demo!
If you loved this Gorgonzola Pasta Recipe then be sure to pin it for later! Already made them or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!