Basic White Sauce / Salsa di Besciamella

Makes 4 Cups

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 or 4 days but will thicken as it sits. As you reheat it, thin the sauce, if you wish, with a little milk.

The 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.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 cups hot milk
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-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. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring slowly until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe was featured on Season 9 - Episode 902.

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Maryann please put up a recipe ,, twist pasta in broccoli ,oil, seasonings Dede(an admirer of your recipes)

Josephine LaPorto

Thank you been looking for S cookie recipes this one looks very easy!

Vicki McIntyre Canada

Fantastic. Our family visited Bologna in late May best lasagna ever had was there. Thank for sharing

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