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Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

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.


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Reviews (18 reviews)

  • sarahslf29 | 04/25/2020

    This was so easy and delicious. Thank you!

  • brava313 | 01/05/2020

    Not enough protein for a main dish.

  • twood | 07/11/2017

    Great weeknight meal that comes together very quickly. Would be wonderful with salmon or grilled chicken breast. Next time I would add just a little more Gorgonzola than called for.

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