Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce

Bésciamella

By
From
Tuscany
Makes
350 ml
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Besciamella was originally a Tuscan sauce. The recipe was taken to France with Catherine de’ Medici’s chef in the 1500s. This is Giancarlo’s version. He uses more butter than flour, which means it blends in easily and there are no lumps.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
350ml whole milk
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
good pinch finely grated nutmeg
good pinch salt
good pinch freshly ground black pepper
35g salted butter
25g plain flour or cornflour

Method

  1. Put the milk, onion halves, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and black pepper in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Meanwhile, make a roux: melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the butter and flour for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove the bay leaf and onion from the milk, then add the roux to the milk, whisking furiously. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Adjust the seasoning to taste and remove from the heat. Cover the surface of the béchel with cling film (plastic wrap) or a circle of dampened baking parchment to stop a skin forming until you are ready to use it.

Tip

  • If, when you come to use the béchamel, you find it too thick, add a little milk to thin it out. Reheating it also helps loosen it.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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