Besciamella or béchamel, a thick and creamy sauce ideal for making any dish more sophisticated.
We are talking about besciamella (béchamel), a delicious sauce made with roux, milk with a pinch of salt, and nutmeg. Roux simply consists of a dough made with butter and flour mixed together and cooked.
Discussing the origins of this sauce leads to heavy arguing between the French and the Italians, who argue that it belongs to them.
From the Italian point of view and according to tradition, this sauce arrived at the French court thanks to Caterina de Medici.
From the French point of view, the invention of bechamel is due to the initiative of the Marquis Louis de Bechamel (hence its name). Around the 17th century, bechamel sauce began to be mentioned in several recipe books.
Having said that, let’s see together how to prepare it, the recipe is very simple and accessible even to those who do not have great cooking skills.
To flavor the sauce more, I add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but you can also work around this option because the original recipe does not provide it.
The queen of sauces: Besciamella (or Béchamel)
- 50 g butter 3.5 tbsp
- 50 g flour 3.5 tbsp
- 500 g warm milk 2 cups
- 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- pinch of salt
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, mix, and very well.
- Gradually add the previously heated milk, stirring to avoid lumps.
- Keep stirring rhythmically until you feel that the sauce is thickening, remove the pan from the heat as soon as it starts to boil.
- Just before turning off the heat, add the salt, the grated cheese (optional), and a pinch of ground nutmeg.