Besciamella (Béchamel)

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Yields enough for 1 lb of dried lasagna or 1 ½ lbs of fresh homemade lasagna Medium
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Ingredients (5)

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of hot milk (5 cups for the ‶no-boil″ variety)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Summary

Besciamella is an integral part of most baked-pasta dishes (pasta al forno). Its also used for binding together ingredients as in polpette (meatballs) and stuffings.

Instructions

  1. 1Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, slowly stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden color (about 3 minutes).
  1. 1Increase the heat to medium high and slowly whisk the hot milk into the roux. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low; continue simmering until the flour has softened and become completely smooth (10 to 15 minutes); then season with salt and nutmeg. Put the sauce aside until needed.
  1. 1

    NOTE: If you are preparing fish lasagna, replace some of the milk with the clams-and mussels-filtered water or commercial fish broth. Nutmeg is not necessary.

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