Besciamella is a basic sauce used in northern Italian cooking. Many white sauces use this as a base and most “pasta al forno” use besciamella to tie things together. The preparation of Besciamella is very similar to that of a Rue. This is a delicate sauce so go by weight on the ingredients.
1 liter milk (a little more than a quart)
100 grams butter (1 stick)
100 grams flour
Heat the milk. Raffaella uses the microwave.
In a medium sized pot (3-5 quarts) melt the butter over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Continue stirring until the mixture until it is very dense, this will take about 2 minutes.
Use a small whisk at this point. Add slowly and in small quantities the hot milk. Continue whisking, to eliminate any lumps, while the sauce comes to a slow boil. Continue for another 3 minutes. This will eliminate the aftertaste of the flour. Move off the heat.
Add salt, I use about a teaspoon, pepper and a couple of turns of Nutmeg and use within the hour.
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