Monkey Pasta

  • Yield : 6 to 8 servings
  • Cook Time : 35m
  • Ready In : 45m
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  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets
  • 2 pounds penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, plus more for coating pasta
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh garlic
  • 1 small red onion, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into slices
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley


Step 1

Make a roux by melting the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the flour and stir lightly until incorporated. The roux should look like "wet sand"; if not, adjust with more butter or flour as necessary. Add the milk and cook and thicken to make a bechamel sauce. (The sauce should be slightly thicker than heavy cream.) Reserve and keep warm.

Step 2

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; prepare an ice-water bath. Blanch the broccoli florets in the boiling water and immediately transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain and set aside.

Step 3

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Before draining, set aside 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and coat with a bit of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Reserve.

Step 4

Heat a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the grapeseed oil, garlic and onions and cook until transparent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and zucchini and sweat down a bit. Add the broccoli florets followed by the bechamel sauce and pasta. Toss to combine, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick. Mix in the Parmesan. Add the chives, 2 tablespoons salt and the pepper and toss to combine.

Step 5

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped parsley and more Parmesan.

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