July 12, 2016

David Rocco’s Salsa Besciamella

Recipe: David Rocco

This is not one of my essential four sauces, but it’s worth having in your back pocket. It’s a lush white sauce made with butter, flour and whole milk (also known as béchamel). It works with tortelli, tortellini, ravioli, and all kinds of other dishes the Emilia-Romagna region is famous for. It’s also often used in lasagna.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1⁄4 cup butter
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste


Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Heat And Mix Sauce

  1. In a pot, gently heat milk over medium heat — watch closely so it doesn’t boil.
  2. In a second pot, gently melt butter over medium-low heat, making sure it doesn’t brown. When melted, take off heat and whisk in flour, a little at a time, until incorporated and smooth paste forms.
  3. Return butter to stove over medium heat, and add few ladlefuls of warm milk from first pot, whisking everything together. When sauce starts to thicken, add more milk, whisking constantly. Repeat process until sauce reaches creamy, velvety consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Donna Griffith


House & Home March 2017