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Having one of those days when all that will do is a creamy, carby bowl of something irresistibly comforting? Can’t be bothered to spend hours in the kitchen? Look no further. This cheesy pasta combines an indulgent 3-cheese sauce with rich garlic and oregano. It’s also super simple to pull together and cooks in less than 15 minutes.
What can I serve it with?
This cheesy pasta is great all on its own. However, if you want to add some meat then you could also add some chorizo or bacon. Pan fry it first before going on to add the garlic and then the pasta.
If you want to add a little variety or make this into more of a rounded meal then you could add a simple green salad or try this chopped salad (just exclude the tuna).
What type of cheese is best for pasta?
There are literally hundreds of types of cheese that you can use in your pasta. If you want something that will result in a creamy and cheesy sauce (as this recipe does) then you need to use something that will easily transform into a smooth sauce. If you are going for a hard cheese then pick something that will easily grate into smaller pieces and melt easily, such as cheddar, mozzarella or parmesan. Or you can use a firm but crumbly cheese which will disintegrate into a silky sauce when heated, such as gorgonzola or goat’s cheese. You could also use a spoonable pasta such as ricotta which will give you a thicker texture to the sauce although it won’t melt well. If you prefer cubes of cheese that you can bite into in your pasta then opt for something that can be sliced and won’t melt away such as feta or halloumi or cut larger pieces of cheddar and don’t heat it for long.
Whatever cheese you use, make sure to not buy pre-grated cheese. This contains additives to stop it from sticking together in the package, which will stop it from melting as well in your pan.
This recipe combines nutty Gruyère with rich and complex parmesan and mild and creamy cheddar to give the perfect balance of creaminess and flavour to the sauce.
What kind of pasta should I use?
This cheesy pasta can be paired with pretty much any pasta of your choosing. As it has a smooth and silky sauce it works really well with long and thin varieties such as spaghetti or linguine which it literally clings to. Or if you like a really cheesy and saucy bite you could use pasta which will trap the sauce in grooves such as fusilli, or holes such as rigatoni.
You could also use gnocchi as an alternative to pasta. You can try your hand at making your own gnocchi here (plus it’s perfect for freezing so you can make a batch!)
What’s all the hype about pasta water?
You may see a lot of recipes that tell you to use the water from the pasta to make the sauce. The reason for this is that when the pasta is cooking it releases starch (which is why the water turns cloudy). When you add this to the sauce it helps to emulsify it. On a basic level, this means it helps the ingredients to stick together which will transform your sauce into a silky and luxurious liquid. Plus, if you’ve added a generous amount of salt to the water when cooking the pasta it will also add more flavour to the sauce.
To easily retain the water you can use tongs, a slotted spoon or one of these skimmers to remove the pasta from the water, rather than tipping everything into a colander in the sink.
The main ingredients for this cheesy pasta are below. For a full list with measurements and weights jump to the printable recipe card.
- Spaghetti, linguine or any pasta of your choice
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Mild cheddar, grated
- Parmesan, grated
- Gruyère, grated
- Single/Whipping cream
- Dried oregano or mixed herbs
- Chopped parsley (optional)
How to make it
For more detailed instructions with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Cook the pasta for one minute less than the package instructions. Remove the pasta and retain the water.
- Saute the garlic in a large pan until lightly golden and then add the pasta.
- Add all the cheese and the cream, oregano and a splash of the pasta water. Stir over the heat until the cheese has melted into a sauce with the cream. Add a little more pasta water to thin out if needed.
- Serve scattered with fresh chopped parsley.
Looking for more great pasta recipes? Try:
- The ultimate linguine bolognese
- Red pesto pasta
- Chicken and chorizo pasta
- Salmon and leek pasta
- Lemon chicken angel hair pasta
- Rigatoni alla gricia
- Sausage puttanesca
Products that work well for this recipe:
2 in 1 Garlic Press
Stainless Steel Strainer Set
6 Sided Grater with Container
This cheesy pasta combines an indulgent and silky 3-cheese sauce with rich garlic and oregano. It’s also super simple to pull together!
The default recipe serves 2.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 170g / 6 oz spaghetti, or pasta of your choosing (see note 1)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 40g mild cheddar, grated (see note 2)
- 30g parmesan, grated
- 40g gruyère cheese, grated
- 60ml / 1/4 cup single / whipping cream
- 1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
- few pieces of chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water for a minute less than the package instructions. Drain and retain the water as you’ll use it later (see note 3).
- Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic until golden and then add the pasta.
- Add the cheese to the pan along with the cream and a splash of the pasta water. Stir everything together until the cheese has melted into a sauce. Add more pasta water, a little at a time, until you have the consistency you want.
- Spoon onto plates and then scatter with the chopped parsley if using.
- You can use any kind of pasta that you want. I typically use spaghetti or linguine because the sauce literally clings to the individual pasta strands. You can alternatively use a variety that will trap the sauce in grooves or holes (such as fusilli or rigatoni).
- You can swap any of the cheeses for any meltable cheese you prefer.
- Make sure to retain and use the pasta water as the starch it contains will help the sauce to stick together and become silky.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: Pasta
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 550
- Fat: 21g
- Carbohydrates: 62g
- Protein: 25g
Keywords: pasta, cheese, parmesan, gruyere, cheddar, comforting, indulgent, vegetarian