Classic Bechamel White Sauce Recipe
Mastering the classic white bechamel sauce may take a little practice but once you have picked up the skill you can use it as a base for a great many Italian dishes. Watch and learn as the Foodie Sisters in Italy take you through each of the stages of preparing this deliciously creamy, comforting, besciamella.
Whether you are making a homemade lasagne, want to add an extra element to vegetable dishes, or need to create a tasty accompanying sauce for meat, bechamel is a good place to start. Although originally one of the mother sauces of classic French cuisine, it has earned its place at the Italian table where it is frequently utilized, particularly in baked pasta recipes.
Bechamel is made by heating butter and flour together to form a roux. Warm milk is then added and mixed well to create a luscious, silky sauce. Despite being made of just a few basic ingredients, the steps of making bechamel should be strictly adhered to in order to achieve a smooth, lump-free consistency and velvety texture. We have used the recipe found below which comes from our favorite family cookbook Il Talismano della Felicità, but also check out Mamma Giuliana’s quick-fix besciamella for a speedier shortcut version (with a lot less stirring!).
The method below will produce a medium-density bechamel but, depending on what you are using it for, you can add or reduce the quantity of milk to adjust the consistency.
Classic Bechamel Sauce
(makes ½ liter of sauce)
50g all-purpose flour
Place the butter into a saucepan over medium heat and melt gently. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously so that the flour does not brown.
Warm the milk in a separate saucepan. Remove the pan of flour and butter from the heat and add the hot milk, stirring well.
Place the sauce back over a low flame and keep stirring until it begins to gently bubble.
Add a pinch of salt and some freshly grated nutmeg to season. Then cover and leave to gently cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.