“Based on a recipe from Lydie Marchall's cookbook, Slow-Cooked Comfort. She says of this recipe, "A well-made white sauce (bechamel in French, besciamella in Italian) is a wonderful binder for many...casseroles.... I flavor the sauce with a small onion and nutmeg. For the best result, I prepare the sauce when I need it."”
2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring milk to a boil. Remove from heat and reserve.
  2. In a 2- or 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, whisking in the flour until smooth (about 1 minute).
  3. Stir in the scalded milk all at once, and whisk briskly until smooth again.
  4. Add onion. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper, and a large pinch of nutmeg.
  5. Over medium-low heat, simmer, whisking occassionally, for 15 minutes. The sauce will be very thin initially, but as it cooks, it will thicken to the consistency of pancake batter.
  6. Set the sauce aside and cover it with buttered parchment paper until ready to use.
  7. Should the sauce thicken while waiting to be folded into a casserole you're preparing, whisk in more scalded milk.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a