Basic White Sauce - Salsa Di Besciamella

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins

Besciamella, white sauce, is more frequently associated with northern Italian cooking, and is used in oven-baked pasta dishes like lasagne, or with vegetables or fish. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for 3-4 days but will thicken as it sits. When you reheat it, thin the sauce, with a little milk. This basic recipe does not have the addition of herbs or spices. Those ingredients should be added after the sauce is cooked, and should be tailored to the dish being prepared. Recipe by Maryanne Esposito of Ciao Italia ---------- For those of you that don't know Maryanne Esposito, let me introduce you to a marvelous cook, who cooks only "Authentic" Italian food, and it is incredible! I had the priviledge of meeting Maryanne at a woman's luncheon many years ago, and she has her own cooking show on Channel 11 in NH. She and her husband, who is a local doctor, live in the next town from where I used to live and work.


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over med-low heat. Do not let the butter brown.
  2. Whisk in the flour, and cook it until a uniform paste is formed, and no streaks of flour remain.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk in a steady stream.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring slowly until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.


Most Helpful

Everybody should know how to make a good white sauce,it's the foundation of so many others and so versatile.....this is a good lesson in how to make one. A foolproof exercise in how to cook well... Thanks Linda.Made for 1-2-3 Hits.

Noo February 27, 2009

LOVED IT! I have to admit I cheated and didn't preheat the milk, but it was still perfect. I used almost 1/2 t kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Served with pasta and it was delicious. I made it again for cauliflower and stirred in grated cheese, also delicious. Thank you Linda! Made for Zaar Tag, please see my rating system.

puppitypup February 05, 2008

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