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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Basic Besciamella Sauce | Authentic Italian Béchamel Recipe

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Besciamella (known outside of Italy as "béchamel sauce") is one of the basic building blocks of many baked Italian dishes. It's used in lasagna, pasta al forno, baked pasta shells, and more! A besciamella sauce provides a creamy texture to dishes without dulling and hiding flavors as heavy cream tends to do.

Basic Besciamella Sauce | Authentic Italian Béchamel Recipe


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Makes: 4 cups

Cook Time: 45 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 6 tbsp. (90g) unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour

  • 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) whole milk (use room temperature for a faster cook time)

  • Salt

  • Fresh black pepper

  • Ground nutmeg

  • Saucepan

  • Whisk

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium/low heat. When it is completely melted, whisk in the flour. It will quickly form a thick roux.

When the flour is mixed in, gradually add the milk while stirring. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens into a gravy-like consistency. You can also adjust the thickness according to your taste by either cooking the sauce less (thinner) or more (thicker).

Season the besciamella generously with salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste. The sauce will last about 2 days in the fridge, covered, although it will thicken so keep that in mind.

It’s normal for crust to form on top when the besciamella cools, just pull it off and discard it when ready to use.

Buon appetito!

Looking for something to make with your besciamella sauce? Try a classic Lasagna alla Bolognese!

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