Bechamel sauce, the queen of white sauces, is typical of the Italian and French cuisine. It was, in fact, the French Marquis Louis de Bechamel who began to use it in his recipes in the seventeenth century. According to other sources the sauce was created in Tuscany and was later introduced by Catherine de Medici in France. Whatever its origin, it is one of the most versatile and tasty sauces of our cuisine. It is used for the preparation of lasagne, cannelloni, crepes, pies and baked vegetables. The traditional recipe calls for the preparation of the known white roux with butter and flour, to which milk will be added and then cooked to the desired consistency. My recipe uses small amounts of butter, thus making the sauce lighter and easier on the stomach. The flour is added directly to the milk with a whisk, and at the end of cooking the butter has melted into the mixture. This procedure allows the preparation of a delicate bechamel and reduces the formation of lumps which instead, with the traditional method is easier to obtain.
BESCIAMELLA LIGHT (LIGHT BECHAMEL SAUCE)
Preparation time: 15 minutes Yield: 1 l (4 cups)
1 l milk (approx. 4 cups)
100 g (⅔ cup) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
30 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1. In a medium saucepan mix the milk and the flour well with a whisk until smooth. This will prevent any lumps from forming. Add the salt
2. Cook 3-4 minutes (medium-high heat) stirring constantly
3. Lower the heat as soon as the mixture reaches a slow boil and then continue to cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly to the right thickness (smooth and creamy). Stir constantly to ensure that it doesn’t stick or burn
4. Add butter and stir until melted. Let it cool and then use for your favorite recipe. -Paola
Vivian Clark says
I won’t try this recipe 100g flour flour and 30 g butter! No way. One of the principles of this sauce is the same amount of each….
It is up to you. My recipe is not called bechamel but light bechamel, therefore it does not follow your principles. Anyway, high amount of saturated fat (like in butter) is not healthy and can be responsable of several cardiovascular problems. Paola
I will try because,I am looking for a fine light sauce like the restaurant serve. That didn’t dry to quickly.
I try many different kinds,but all dry and after you take off the oven on the top offf cannelloni
Look like a cake one piece .
I am looking for something like I will try , and let you know.
Try my besciamella sauce. If you want something smooth, you can add some extra milk (a few spoons). Please let me know. Happy cooking, Paola
Sherry Heinrichs says
I love that this sauce is light and my husband loves it even though it is! Thank you. I use it to inside and on top of crepes stuffed with boiled egg and asparagus.
Great suggestion! Crepes, asparagus and besciamella… what a treat! Ciao, ciao Paola
Frances Heller says
Give me a break. If it follows the original guidelines, it will hardly be LIGHT, which is what she calls it. Are you trying to impress with your culinary know how? Sorry, I, for one, am not impressed; you’ll have to go way deeper than that. Oh, and I know she’s disturbed that you’re not trying it. yo.
Some encouraging words:
It’s good to see someone who is not caught up in following all traditional cooking rules. This is where recipe variety and innovation stem from. It seems like some commenters may have an issue with it being called a “proper” bechamel. Funny thing to get hung up on unless you’re a strict believer in a certain learned cooking philosophy. Rule following can get boring. Pride in culinary training, upbringing and/or philosophy can be restricting when it comes to food.
Anyway, thanks, Paola, for having the guts to post a lighter bechamel recipe with a tweaked process. Don’t let the rigid “purists” discourage you.
Thanks so much for stopping by and your nice comment. Cooking is also personal, I like to give my personal twist to traditional recipes. My cooking is based on the Mediterranean diet with a modern interpretation according to recent scientific research. In the past people eat less and move more, nowadays we have more food and move less, therefore we have to adapt our diet to modern lifestyle. Hug, Paola