penne with four cheeses

Penne with Four Cheeses

Hey! Today, I’m thrilled to share with you one of my favorite pasta recipes: Penne with Four Cheeses.

This dish is a true testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. Just imagine tender penne pasta coated in a velvety blend of Fontina, Gorgonzola Dolce, Grana Padano, and Pecorino Toscano – a cheese lover’s dream come true!

Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s also surprisingly easy to make. So, if you’re craving comfort food without the fuss, this recipe is definitely for you. Let’s get cooking!

Penne with Four Cheeses

Recipe by LucaCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Calories per serving



Indulge in the creamy richness of Penne with Four Cheeses, featuring Fontina, Gorgonzola Dolce, Grana Padano, and mild Pecorino Toscano.

This Italian pasta dish promises a decadent and satisfying meal, perfect for cheese lovers craving a comforting yet flavorful experience.


  • 6 ounces Grana Padano

  • 1 ounce mild Pecorino Toscano

  • 3 ounces Fontina

  • 3 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce

  • 1 pound penne

  • salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 quarts of water


  • Cube 3 ounces of Fontina, 3 ounces of Gorgonzola Dolce, and grate 6 ounces of Grana Padano and 1 ounce of mild Pecorino Toscano.
  • Place the Fontina, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, and Pecorino Toscano in a bowl over gently boiling water.
  • Heat for about 10 minutes until the cheeses are melted and smooth, stirring often.
  • Meanwhile, boil 5 quarts of water and add salt and penne pasta.
  • Cook the penne until al dente, then drain.
  • Stir the cooked penne into the melted cheese mixture.
  • Serve immediately, dusted with freshly ground black pepper.


  • Cheese Selection: Ensure that you use high-quality cheeses for the best flavor. Opt for an authentic taste for Fontina, Gorgonzola Dolce, Grana Padano, and mild Pecorino Toscano.
  • Melting Process: When melting the cheeses, stir the mixture frequently over gentle heat to prevent sticking and ensure uniform melting.
  • Pasta Cooking Time: Cook the penne until al dente per package instructions before combining it with the cheese mixture.
  • Serving: For an impressive presentation, hollow out a wheel of Grana Padano to use as a pasta platter before serving. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper for an extra kick of flavor.

FAQ Penne with Four Cheeses

1. Can I use different types of cheese for this recipe?

Absolutely! While the recipe calls for Fontina, Gorgonzola Dolce, Grana Padano, and Pecorino Toscano, feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses or whatever you have on hand.

2. Can I substitute penne pasta with another type of pasta?

Yes, you can use any pasta shape you prefer. Fusilli, rigatoni and rotini, or even spaghetti would work well with this cheesy sauce. Pro tip: make sure you use authentic pasta, preferably from an Italian brand.

3. How do I prevent the cheese sauce from becoming too thick?

Make sure to stir the cheese mixture frequently while melting to prevent it from sticking to the sides of the bowl. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of pasta cooking water to loosen it up.

4. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the cheese sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce gently on the stove and toss it with freshly cooked pasta.

5. Can I freeze leftovers?

Unfortunately, this dish is best enjoyed fresh and doesn’t freeze well because the cheese sauce’s texture changes upon thawing. It’s best to enjoy it immediately or refrigerate any leftovers for up to a day.

6. How can I adjust the spice level of the dish?

You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes to increase the heat. Alternatively, you can omit the black pepper or reduce the amount to adjust the spice level to your preference.

7. Can I make this dish gluten-free?

You can use gluten-free pasta instead of traditional penne to make the dish gluten-free.


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