Rigatoni Gorgonzola is a quick and easy delicious tasting pasta recipe. Filled with a variety of textures with a simple creamy cheese sauce, this unique flavour combination works! Being fancy and calling it rigatoni al gorgonzola is a fun way of saying get your fork stuck into this garlicky gorgonzola goodness ASAP as its like heaven on a plate here on earth 😉.
The Basil Artichoke Pizza mirrors the flavour combination of this dish in 'pizza form'.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Non meat pasta: spagh bowl is great as is bolognese, but sometimes you want to eat the carbs in a meat free way. This recipes ticks the vegetarian box but does not hold back on taste, texture or simply divine flavours.
- 20 minutes: is all it takes from start to finish to bring the dish together. This works well on nights when you don't have a lot of time but don't want to get take away or order in.
- Creamy pasta sauce: is a great alternative to a tomato or pesto based sauce. The white wine vinegar, butter and garlic help to make the creamy sauce rich in flavour.
- Comfort food: a bowl of this pasta will warm the belly, mind and soul. The flavour combination is unique and brings enjoyment to a dish with such depths of flavour.
- Taste and texture: through the intentional use of the textures in the dish, we create a balance between a smooth and creamy pasta sauce with highlights of the artichokes, olives and capers. It is a winning combination!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Gorgonzola: is a type of blue cheese that is pale white in colour with deep greenish blue markings through it. It has a unique, strong taste and soft, creamy texture. Most commonly it is sold as a long triangular wedge shape.
- Rigatoni: is an excellent pasta to use for creamy sauces and textured pasta recipes. The hollow tube is the perfect space for ingredients to find their way, leading to bites of blissful yum.
- Cream: in some countries this will be known as 'heavy cream'. In others, 'cooking cream' or 'regular cream'. It is great to use for making creamy pasta sauces and more often than not you can purchase a lighter calorie version.
- Butter: this helps to make the creamy, cheesy, pasta sauce.
- Garlic: to add a depth of flavour to the rigatoni sauce. It gets sautéed with the melted butter, salt and pepper.
- Salt and pepper: a little of each of these is used to season the creamy pasta sauce.
- Artichokes: marinated artichoke hearts from a jar that have been drained but not rinsed are best to use. I cut each small artichoke portion into 3-4 smaller pieces.
- Kalamata olives: you will be easily able to find a pitted bottle of these, but they are rarely sold sliced. So take a knife and chopping board and cut each pitted olive into 3 to 4 slices.
- Capers: these delightful little green buds bring a burst of flavour and texture to the recipe. They are sold in brine, which can be discarded. We want to drain them but not rinse them before using.
- Basil, cracked pepper and cheese: these are to garnish the dish for serving. Pecorino Romano is my favourite cheese to use but you can also use parmesan cheese as an option.
Tasty Tip: I do offer a number of substitutions and variations to give you options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section before diving into the instructions on how to make the recipe below.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the rigatoni and scooping out some of the pasta water to use for the sauce before we drain it. A heatproof jug is a handy vessel for this step.
- Reserve some of the pasta water (Photo 1)
- Add butter to pan and melt (Photo 2)
- Add garlic, salt and pepper, fry off (Photo 3)
- Add the white wine vinegar (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Rigatoni Gorgonzola
Start the recipe by cooking the rigatoni in a medium sized sauce pan with salted water. As this cooks, also start to make the gorgonzola pasta sauce.
Add the butter to a large sauté pan and at high heat, allow this to melt before adding the garlic, salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to move these around in the pan for a couple of minutes as the garlic cooks.
Next add the white wine vinegar to the pan, followed by the cream and then the gorgonzola. You can stir in between each step as this will start to get the consistency of the sauce right.
Then use a heatproof jug to scoop out some of the pasta water as this will be needed later on for the sauce.
- Pour in the cream and stir to combine (Photo 5)
- Add the gorgonzola (Photo 6)
- Then add the chopped artichokes (Photo 7)
- Followed by the cooked, drained rigatoni (Photo 8)
Once the creamy gorgonzola pasta sauce has come together, add the chopped artichokes and allow them to simmer in the pan for around 2 minutes.
Then add the drained (no need to rinse) rigatoni to the pan. Next we want to add the reserved pasta water as this will help the pasta sauce bind to the pasta.
I start by adding ¼ of a cup and giving it a few stirs, then I add another ¼ cup. This amount helps to enhance the creamy sauce but not such high a volume that it thins the creamy cheese sauce too much.
- Add the reserved pasta water (2 x ¼ cups) (Photo 9)
- Next add the sliced kalamata olives (Photo 10)
- Add the capers (Photo 11)
- Then stir to combine, heat through and garnish the dish (Photo 12)
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Be liberal when garnishing the dish for serving and use an array of pecorino romano cheese grated over the top, freshly cracked black pepper and bright basil leaves for a pop of colour 😉👍.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the dish in a bowl with cling wrap or sealed air tight container in the fridge. They will keep for 3 days.
I believe this dish tastes better when cooked and consumed immediately or reheated for leftovers. It is my recommendation to not freeze it.
How to Reheat
Reheat leftovers of the pasta in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on high until heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- Yes, you can use another type of pasta should you wish to. Some good options are penne, macaroni or fusilli.
- You can use a sweet white wine such as pinot gris in place of the white wine vinegar (equivalent amount).
- Vegetable stock is another substitute for the white wine vinegar.
- You can use fresh parsley to garnish the dish as an alternative to the fresh basil leaves.
- You can use a regular blue cheese to the equivalent amount in place of the gorgonzola.
- Walnuts are a great protein that you could toast and crumble for an alternative garnish idea.
- You can use black sliced olives in place of the kalamata olives.
- Both pecorino Romano and parmesan cheese are great options to use for garnishing the finished dish.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- The gorgonzola is very soft so take a gentle approach to cutting it into smaller pieces.
- Ensure the pasta water has a pinch of salt when cooking the rigatoni.
- There is no need to rinse the artichokes, olives or capers before using.
- A heatproof jug is a great way to scoop out some of the pasta water before draining.
- Taste test the rigatoni, al dente (ie a little bit chewy still is what to aim for).
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What does Gorgonzola go well with?
Gorgonzola works well on a cheese plater, served with dried fruits, dips and crackers. It also pairs well with steak, chicken wings and pasta.
Is Gorgonzola a strong cheese?
Gorgonzola has a distinct and unique flavour but it is not a bold, sharp cheese. It is soft and mild.
Is Gorgonzola cheese spicy?
Gorgonzola is not a spicy cheese. It is a full flavoured cheese with zero heat or spice to it.
What cheese is similar to Gorgonzola?
5 substitutes for Gorgonzola cheese are:
- French Roquefort
- Blue cheese
- Goat's cheese
- English stilton
- Danish Danablue
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Getting dinner on the table can be straight forward and easy with some reliably delicious recipes to turn to. Here are a few that I think will become your favourites:
- Pasta Alla Gorgonzola
- Pork Bolognese
- Bolognese Pizza
- Fettuccine Bolognese
- Linguine Bolognese
- Coca Cola Ribs
- Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti
- Baked Pasta Bolognese
We are going to get a little cheesy my friend and you are going to love it 👍😉. You can also find all of my pasta recipes in the one spot!
- 1 Medium sized sauce pan
- 1 Heat proof jug
- 1 Colander
- 1 Large saute pan
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 500 grams/16 oz dried rigatoni
- 1 teaspoon salt to cook the rigatoni
- 2 tbsps butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt (kosher salt, cooking salt)
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Note 1
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 200 grams/ 8 oz gorgonzola cheese
- ½ cup reserved pasta water Note 2
- 1 cup artichoke hearts drained, chopped into small pieces, Note 3
- 1 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced, Note 4
- ½ cup capers drained, not rinsed, Note 5
- cracked black pepper
- fresh basil leaves
- pecorino Romano cheese
- Cook rigatoni: place a medium sized saucepan on the stove, add water and salt and turn to high heat. Cook rigatoni according to the packet instruction indicated time.
- Reserve pasta water: scoop out 1 to 2 cups of pasta water, set aside. We only need ½ cup, however, it can be handy to store some leftover in the fridge.
- Gorgonzola sauce: add the butter to a large sauté pan and turn to high heat. As the butter melts, add the garlic as well as the salt and pepper then stir to combine. Pour in the white wine vinegar and give it a stir. Then add the cream and stir to combine. Allow the cream to come to the boil then turn the heat to low. Add the gorgonzola cheese and allow this to slowly melt into the cream, stir occasionally throughout this time.
- Artichokes: when the gorgonzola is melted and the sauce is consistently combined add the chopped artichoke pieces. Stir these and allow to heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Rigatoni: add the cooked drained rigatoni to the gorgonzola sauce. Pour in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water, stir, the add in another ¼ cup. Stir till the pasta water is consistently combined in the sauce.
- Olives and capers: next add the sliced kalamata olives, stir then add the capers and stir again. Allow the dish to fully heat through.
- Garnish: liberally garnish the dish with cracked black pepper, freshly grated pecorino romano cheese and basil leaves. Provide forks and spoons for serving. Enjoy!
- Note 1 - Reserved pasta water: I scoop out 1 to 2 cups, but we actually only use 2 x ¼ cups (½ cup for the recipe). It can be handy to have some of this spare to juice up any leftovers.
- Note 2 - White Wine Vinegar: you can use the equivalent of white wine or vegetable stock as an alternative.
- Note 3 - Artichokes: This is the equivalent amount of 2 x jars of 230 grams marinated artichoke hearts. American friends, you can use the 13.75 oz tin which is roughly the same overall volume.
- Note - 4 Kalamata olives: this is the equivalent of a 350 gram jar (12 oz). Drained, not rinsed. The olives will be sold pitted, but you will need to slice them for the recipe.
- Note - 5 Capers: this is the equivalent of a 110 gram jar of capers (American friends 3.5oz). Drained, not rinsed. The 'baby' capers are my preference over the larger pea size capers.
- Serving size: enough for 4 x servings or can stretch further if serving as a side/in addition to other meals.