Gorgonzola spinach pasta is a simple and tasty dish. Served with pan-fried halibut makes a quick, family-friendly 30-Minute dinner! I think it can‘t get any easier than to make a sauce from gorgonzola cheese. All you have to do is to melt the cheese – a creamy and flavorful sauce is ready. To make it a little less cheesy and boring, I added spinach and lemon juice – it lightened up the whole dish.
Gorgonzola is a creamy Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s produced in Northern Italy. There’s dolce (mild) or piccante (hot) gorgonzola variety – you can use both varieties for this recipe. It has a sharp and distinctive flavor. Cambozola cheese would be a good substitution (or any other creamy blue cheese that melts well), but I would add some fresh garlic to the dish (cooked with butter) as this cheese is more mild in flavor.
Spinach – you can omit it and add other veggies to this recipe, like zucchini. Use fresh spinach, not frozen. It’s best to use baby spinach – the leaves are small and delicate. If you have thick, large leaves, you may want to chop them roughly.
Pasta – egg pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle works best with this recipe.
Fish – use any kind of white-fleshed fish like halibut, cod, flounder, sole, snapper, catfish, haddock, or grouper.
Instead of lemon juice, you can add about 3-4 tablespoons of dry white wine.
Seasoning for fish: I used just fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. You can also use dried thyme or Italian/French herbs. Why toss fish in flour: spices adhere better to the fish and it makes a nice crust when pan-frying it.
Best oil to cook fish: I love to use clarified butter to cook any fish. It has a great flavor that pairs perfectly with delicate fish flavor but it doesn’t burn so quickly as regular butter. You can buy or or make homemade clarified butter (it’s super easy and quick to do!).
What could you also add: you could additionally sautee spinach or onion in butter and make that the base of the sauce.
Here’s what you need:
How to make it step by step
Scroll down for printable recipe card with ingredients list.
STEP 1: Start with cooking your pasta. Cook 4 oz (120g) pasta a minute less than the time indicated on the package (it will be cooked later in a pan for a while). Reserve some pasta cooking water (about 1/4 cup).
STEP 2: Cook the fish:
Pat dry the fillets with paper towels, season with salt and pepper to taste, then with 1-2 teaspoons of fresh or dried thyme. Coat in flour (about 1-2 tablespoons) on all sides. Shake to remove any excess flour.
Heat clarified butter (about 2 tablespoons) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the fish fillets. Cook on both sides until golden. Don’t overcook the fish, it only needs a quick sear, 2-3 minutes per side, and that’s it! The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish, so it may be different for you.
If you want to be sure that the fish is cooked through, you can always measure the internal temperature with a thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the fillet and measure its temperature. It should be 145°F/63°C. Since the fish will be cooked further by residual heat so you can cook it to 140°F/60°C and the residual heat will cook it through.
How to know when to turn the fish over: carefully insert a thin spatula under the fish, when the fish is golden it should not stick to the pan anymore. Carefully release it on all sides from the pan using a spatula or two forks and turn it over.
Transfer the fish to a plate (or put in an over preheated to the lowest temperature since it cools down pretty quickly).
STEP 3: Make creamy gorgonzola sauce:
Add 1/2 cup (100g) gorgonzola, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon), 2 Tbsp cream, and about 1/4 cup pasta cooking water to the pan. Stir until the cheese is melted.
STEP 4: Add 2 large handfuls of spinach and cooked pasta to the pan. Cook over low heat for about a minute or until spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fish.
This dish is best prepared fresh. It can be reheated but the pasta with be a little bit soggy as it will absorb more sauce. Thin it out with some milk and warm up in a pan.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!
Fish with gorgonzola spinach and lemon pasta
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for the fish:
- 2 white fish fillets halibut or cod, about 12oz (350g)
- 1 heaped teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter for frying, or frying oil
creamy gorgonzola sauce:
- ½ cup (100g) gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 2 large handfuls (125g) fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or more
- zest grated from 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz (120g) egg pasta preferably egg tagliatelle or pappardelle
- Cook the pasta, a minute less than the time indicated on the package (it will be cooked later on a pan for a while). Reserve some pasta cooking water (about 1/4 cup).
- While the pasta is cooking, rinse the spinach and cut off thicker stalks.
- Cook the fish: Pat dry the fish with paper towels, season well with salt, pepper, and thyme. Sprinkle with flour, gently shake off the excess.
- On a large frying pan heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot add the fish. Cook for about 2-4 minutes on one side, until nicely brown, turn over and cook for 1-2 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Be careful to not overcook the fish (it will be rubbery and dry). When the meat changes its color from translucent to white – it‘s ready. Transfer the fish to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Make the sauce: Add gorgonzola, lemon juice, lemon zest, cream, and about 1/4 cup pasta cooking water to the pan. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- Add spinach and cooked pasta to the pan. Cook over low heat for about a minute or until spinach is wilted.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if necessary, serve with the fish.
- If you want to be sure that the fish is cooked through, you can always measure the internal temperature with a thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the fillet and measure its temperature. It should be 145°F/63°C. Since the fish will be cooked further by residual heat so you can cook it to 140°F/60°C and the residual heat will cook it through.
- This dish is best prepared fresh. It can be reheated but the pasta with be a little bit soggy as it will absorb more sauce. Thin it out with some milk and warm up in a pan.
- Calories count = 1 serving