Sep 25, 2014

Penne with broccoli in almond milk béchamel

That's how we like to eat broccoli...

Penne with broccoli in almond milk béchamel
by Gray Apron
time: 20 min preparation / 10 min in the oven

300 g (11 oz) penne pasta
1 broccoli head, florets only
6 dry peperoncino flakes
olive oil, salt
bechamel (adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)
60 g (4 Tablespoons) butter
30 g (3 Tablespoons) flour
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) warm milk (I used my own production almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
small handful shredded cheese(s)
fresh mozzarella for finishing
freshly ground pepper

Set the oven on broil function (top grill only, medium heat).

Prepare bechamel. In a large, heavy bottom skillet or sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook for 3 minutes, whisking continuously with a bubble whisk. Pour in the warm milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Simmer for 3-4 minutes while whisking the sauce till it thickens. If they are clumps, stir more and faster - they should disappear. Take it off the heat. Add salt and nutmeg. Using the same bubble whisk, incorporate shredded cheese.

Cook broccoli florets in a large amount of salted water for 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer florets onto a bowl and run them under cold water. Drain. Set them aside. Save the cooking water.

In the same water cook penne for 5-6 minutes (about 1/3 less time then normal). Drain. Set aside.

In a large saucepan (oven safe), heat olive oil on medium/high heat. Drop peperoncino flakes. After 1-2 minutes, add broccoli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add pasta, pour in béchamel. Heat everything through mixing it with with a wooden spoon. Flatten it. Drop mozzarella pieces on top. Set it in the preheated oven in the upper half for 10 minutes. Remove, let it cool for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh ground pepper on top.

  • all the steps above can be preformed almost simultaneously but it can get a bit crazy;
  • it's probably important to keep all the cooked ingredients warm;
  • I used Italian cheese leftovers for the sauce: Pecorino, Parmesan and some other that I don't remember the name of;
  • this dish tastes really good if you make enough sauce and if you don't overcook broccoli or pasta.


  1. That's a meal for me. Gosh it looks good.

  2. It looks homey and delicious..exactly my kind of meal!

  3. A great combo! This penne dish must be succulent.



  4. Welcome back,dear Ela! We have missed you so much! I hope you enjoyed your holidays!
    Amazing pasta dish! I love broccoli!
    Kisses from Greece,dear!

  5. It looks like a terrific way to enjoy broccoli! I could make a meal out of it!

  6. I'd eat broccoli like this any day!

  7. Hi Ela, love your béchamel sauce, very smart!

  8. Clever, Ela. I've never used almond milk in a bechamel. The dish looks comforting and warming.

  9. A great way to eat broccoli, love this dish and I think the idea of a bechamel with almond milk is great.

  10. Anonymous9/26/2014

    Damn delicious!!!,
    unfortunately there's only swetened almond milk availabele here in Indonesia,
    i guess i need to made it all from scratch ten

  11. Ela this looks soooo good! The love a creamy sauce on occasion...such a treat and truly comforting for when the weather gets a little chillier. Also love that you use milk rather than cream in the sauce! ;D

    So happy you are back. Hope you had a lovely summer vacation.


  12. Oooh this is an interesting recipe, Ela! Sounds delicious.

  13. What a great way to eat broccoli! I could eat it like this all the time too :)

  14. I have never made a bechamel with almond milk before-genius!

  15. I think I could get my husband to eat broccoli this way! Delicious!