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Béchamel Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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Cookbook

1,000 Italian Recipes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This basic white sauce is usually combined with cheese and used on baked pasta or vegetables. The recipe can easily be halved.

This sauce can be made up to 2 days before using. Pour it into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface and seal tightly to prevent a skin from forming, then refrigerate. Reheat over low heat before using adding a little more milk if it is too thick.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, savory

Type of Dishpasta sauce, sauces

Ingredients

  • 1 quart milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until small bubbles form around the edge.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir well. Cook 2 minutes.

Slowly begin adding the milk in a thin stream, stirring it in with a wire whisk. At first the sauce will become thick and lumpy, but it will gradually loosen up and become smooth as you stir in the remainder.

When all of the milk has been added, stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Raise the heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

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