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The Classic Besciamella Recipe

Besciamella is one of the most versatile and widespread sauces in Italian cuisine, used to season a wide range of dishes, from lasagna to baked pasta, and from gratinated vegetables to savory tarts. Its origins date back to Tuscany, where it is known as “salsa colla,” and was exported to France by Catherine de’ Medici.

Ingredients and Preparation

To prepare the besciamella, only a few basic ingredients are needed: milk, butter, and flour. The preparation is extremely simple and quick, taking less than 10 minutes in total. The necessary ingredients are:

  • 500 ml of milk
  • 30 g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt
  • Nutmeg to taste

Tips for a Perfect Besciamella

To obtain a creamy and lump-free besciamella, it is essential to cook the roux well, which should be lightly browned, indicating that the flour is well cooked. Additionally, it is important to add the cold milk all at once, whisking vigorously with a whisk, to prevent the formation of lumps.


The besciamella can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days. If you want to make it creamier the next day, you can reheat it slightly and add a little milk.

Variations and Uses

Besciamella is a fundamental ingredient for many different recipes, such as cannelloni, lasagna, baked pasta, gratinated vegetables, and savory tarts. It is also possible to prepare variations of the besciamella using whole wheat flour or adding other ingredients to give the sauce a personal touch.

In conclusion, the besciamella is a sauce that is easy and quick to prepare, extremely versatile, and suitable for multiple uses in the kitchen. With a few ingredients and some simple tricks, it is possible to obtain a creamy and delicious besciamella, perfect for enriching your dishes.