Creamy bechamel sauce, known as the “mother of sauces“, is a classic in French cuisine. However, it originated in Tuscany, Italy where it was known as salsa colla before being introduced to France.
Regardless of its origins, this creamy and versatile sauce is beloved worldwide and is used in a variety of dishes beyond French and Italian cuisine.
Homemade bechamel sauce
While it’s true that you can buy pre-made béchamel at the store, it’s not necessary at all. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making it from scratch. With a few simple steps, you can create a smooth and creamy bechamel sauce that will take your dishes to the next level.
When you make it yourself, you also know exactly what ingredients are going into your sauce. Not to mention, you can impress your family and friends with your fantastic homemade “béchamel skills”.
Easy bechamel sauce recipe
This delicious sauce is quite simple to make. You’ll only need a few basic ingredients:
- Butter – opt for unsalted butter to control the overall saltiness of your sauce.
- Flour – classic plain flour is your best bet.
- Milk – use whole milk with at least 3.5% fat content, and be sure to have it at room temperature before you begin.
- Salt – I recommend using sea salt. Season to taste until the very end.
- Pepper – freshly ground pepper is always best, as it lends a more intense flavor to your dishes. This is particularly noticeable in recipes like spaghetti carbonara.
- Nutmeg – use whole nutmeg, and freshly grate about a quarter of it straight into your sauce.
With these ingredients and a little know-how, you’ll be whipping up delicious homemade béchamel sauce in no time.
Bechamel sauce for lasagna is a versatile base that can be made even more delicious by adding cheese. To incorporate cheese into your sauce, simply mix in some grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, the real stuff).
If you’re making lasagna, adding cheese to your béchamel is a great way to give the dish an extra boost of flavor and density. The parmesan cheese will lend the sauce a slightly more interesting taste that’s sure to please your palate.
Uses for creamy bechamel sauce
When it comes to bechamel sauce, the first dish that comes to mind is undoubtedly classic homemade lasagna. The addition of bechamel is a must-have in Italian lasagna, making it all the more important to prepare the sauce yourself. By doing so, you can take your fantastic lasagna to the next level and ensure that nothing is missing from this classic dish.
However, simple bechamel sauce is not just for lasagna. It’s a versatile base that can be used in a variety of dishes, such as Moussaka or pasta cannelloni.
Lastly, consider using this amazing sauce with baked vegetables. This is a great way to add extra flavor and creaminess to your favorite baked vegetable dishes.
With its many uses and endless versatility, bechamel sauce is a true staple in any kitchen. By mastering this simple sauce, you can elevate your favorite recipes and impress your guests with your culinary skills.
Tips for the best bechamel sauce
If you want to make the best béchamel, there are a few key tips to keep in mind:
- Always use the same ratio of butter and flour. This will ensure that your sauce turns out perfectly every time.
- If you have white pepper available, don’t hesitate to use it. It can add a unique flavor to your sauce.
- When seasoning your sauce, be sure to add salt, pepper, and nutmeg towards the end of the cooking process. This will allow you to adjust the flavor to your liking.
- Keep in mind that your sauce will thicken as it cools. If you’re making the sauce ahead of time, you may want to adjust the consistency accordingly.