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Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

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Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Chopped nuts are unusual in pasta, but they pair brilliantly with the earthy Gorgonzola in this creamy weeknight dish. Toasting the nuts deepens their flavor, so don’t skip this step.


  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves (10 lightly packed cups) 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts  
  • 12 oz. dried penne (3-1/2 cups) 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-1/2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola (1/2 cup) Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives 

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 620
      Fat Calories (kcal): 260
      Fat (g): 28
      Saturated Fat (g): 14
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
      Cholesterol (mg): 80
      Sodium (mg): 560
      Carbohydrates (g): 72
      Fiber (g): 7
      Protein (g): 19


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Put the spinach in a colander in the sink. 
  • Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven until dark golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  • Cook the penne according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta in the colander over the spinach. 
  • Put the cream, Gorgonzola, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and a pinch of salt in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pasta and spinach, and 2 Tbs. each of the walnuts and chives. Cook, stirring constantly, until some of the sauce is absorbed by the pasta, about 2 minutes. If necessary, add some of the cooking water to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. walnuts and 1 Tbs. chives, and serve. 

Serve with a simple green salad dressed with homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.


To wilt the spinach perfectly, put it in a colander and drain the pasta over it.


Rate or Review


  • quiltinggranny | 08/11/2015

    This is very good and oh so fast. I used a lot more cheese because that's the way we like it.

  • Kokinneke | 07/26/2015

    Quick-n-easy. For the ones who find it "too rich" try melting the gorgonzola in milk, then add arrowroot to bind.

  • theprettygeek | 11/26/2014

    This has become a staple recipe at our house!!!! It has a delicate sauce with exploding flavor. We love how easy and effortless this recipe is.

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