Cheesy Bechamel Sauce
Homemade Pasta Sauce
Three Farm Daughters
You may know it best as white sauce, cheese sauce or mornay - but whatever name this all-star French classic goes by at your place, it always translates to delicious.
Endlessly versatile; this silky, rich and creamy sauce is one of the basics you’ll need in your back pocket to create all kinds of incredible pasta recipes. From au gratin dishes like lasagna and cauliflower cheese, to light and luxurious stir-throughs with ham, mushrooms, peas and more.
Begin with a roux of equal parts butter and flour, whisk in warm milk, and build from there. This delicate, milky sauce takes on any flavor you introduce to it - traditionally, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaves, or melting cheeses like gruyere, parmesan or white cheddar. Try it in our Not-So-Classic Lasagna and take your taste buds to a new level of lusciousness!
2 cups Full-Fat Milk, heated
2 oz Salted Butter
¼ cup Plain Flour
¾ cup shredded White Cheddar, Gruyere or Parmesan Cheese
2 Bay Leaves
Pinch Nutmeg (optional)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
In a large heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat to make a roux.
Slowly sprinkle over the flour and cook gently, stirring constantly until the floury taste is cooked out, around 2 minutes. The roux may resemble a wet dough and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
Next, gradually add the warm milk to the pan, ½ a cup at a time, whisking vigorously between each addition to prevent lumps from forming. Continue whisking and cooking the roux until all the milk is added, then increase the heat to medium.
Next, add the bay leaves (and nutmeg, if using.) Whisking constantly to dissolve the lumps, bring to just below boiling point. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the sauce is thick, glossy and coats the back of a wooden spoon, around 5-7 minutes.
To finish, remove the bay leaves and stir through the shredded cheese. Season to taste, then use as a stir-through sauce for pasta or in baked into an al forno dish!