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The queen of sauces: Besciamella (or Béchamel)


Besciamella, or béchamel, is a thick and creamy sauce ideal for making any dish more sophisticated. It is one of the basic sauces of culinary culture, and it is the fundamental ingredient in everything from baked pasta to lasagna and hearty, savory pies.

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 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.

Let’s see how to prepare it together. The recipe is very simple and accessible, even to those who lack great cooking skills.

I added some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to flavor the sauce more, but you can also work around this option because the original recipe does not provide it.

Cuisine ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Total Time: 20 mins
Best Season Suitable throughout the year

Besciamella, or béchamel sauce, is a classic white sauce used in Italian and French cuisine. It's made from a roux (a mixture of flour and butter) combined with milk, and then simmered until thickened.

  • 3.5 tablespoons butter
  • 3.5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of nutmeg podwer
    • In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour; mix very well.
    • Gradually add the previously heated milk, stirring to avoid lumps.
    • Keep stirring rhythmically until you feel the sauce is thickening; remove the pan from the heat as soon as it starts to boil.
    • Before turning off the heat, add the salt, the grated cheese (optional), and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Keywords: besciamella, bechamel