Recipe: Easy Bechamel (White Sauce) Pasta
While this isn’t a food blog, I do love food, and part of my journey to self-sufficiency, homestead badassery, and happiness involves learning to do all sorts of new things – including a bechamel sauce. Bonus: that French name makes it sound so fancy!
Below I’m including just the core instructions to make the bechamel sauce, but if you read on, I’ll mention my favorite full recipe and how you can adapt it to your taste buds, geography, and season.
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g white flour
- Whole milk
- Spices: salt, pepper, nutmeg
+ Veggies of choice and pasta of course
Optional: grated cheese, e.g. parmesan (buy a chunk and grate it yourself, it tastes way better than the package-grated version).
Start by doing your basic veggie prep (more on that below). Set veggies aside in a bowl. You can also already make your pasta and set it aside once cooked (throw in some olive oil so it doesn’t stick together).
In the same pot where prepped veggies and where you’ll be making your full pasta sauce, melt the butter (low heat) and add the flour. Mix with a whisk. It will look clumpy but in fact it’s not, it just “coagulates” when mixed – and that’s exactly what you want.
Add whole milk little by little, mixing well with the whisk before adding more.
Keep going until it has the consistency you want: on the scale of thick sludge to water, aim for creamy.
Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
That’s it. Super easy, right?
Add the veggies back in, mix and let simmer for a few minutes so the flavours can spread.
I recommend some fresh ground pepper and grated cheese on top, but that’s just me.
The beauty of this recipe is you can use it for whatever you want. Our year-round go-to is to throw in canned artichoke hearts once the bechamel is ready, but you can get creative.
Last week, I made this with a base of onion, garlic, and zucchini – plus those artichoke hearts thrown in after I mixed everything into the bechamel.
My husband likes to add canned peas and capers.
(Can you tell I am obsessed with artichokes? Can’t wait until the ones I planted produce their deliciousness. Plus, it’s a perennial plant so once it’s happy it will come back all by itself year after year and regale you with its goodness. What’s not to love?)
I don’t know why we seem to only make this with vegetables on the white-to-green spectrum, but you can experiment and use whatever is available locally and based on the season you’re in.
Ps. If you try this, let me know what veggies you used and how it turned out!