Béchamel sauce

This is one of the easiest and yet most difficult sauces. It has a French origin, but it is widely used in Italian cooking, and it deserves special attention. While there are many ways of making this sauce, the following method and quantities always work, and do not require a Cordon Bleu diploma for success.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) white flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon {nutmeg}, grated
In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Meanwhile, bring the milk to the boil (3 minutes at maximum power in the microwave oven will do the job).

Lower the heat and add the milk to the roux a little at a time, stirring constantly. Do not add any more milk until the previous addition has been well incorporated. Keep adding and stirring until all the milk is absorbed.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring from time to time, for a good 10 minutes. Your sauce is now ready to use.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Cook Time: 15-20 min

Servings: makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce

Recipe By: Anna Venturi

From:  Secrets from an Italian Kitchen
Used with permission of Pavilion