Follow our recipe for homemade béchamel sauce, then check out our tomato pasta sauce, cheese sauce, classic pesto, white sauce, bolognese sauce and plenty more pasta sauce recipes.


  • 600ml whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a handful of stalks (optional) parsley
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 50g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • for seasoning (optional) white pepper


  • STEP 1

    Put the milk in a saucepan with the bay leaf, parsley stalks (if using) and peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Strain into a jug and rinse the pan out.
    Put the pan back on the heat and gently melt the butter, stir in the flour (use a wooden spoon or mini whisk) and cook for 1 minute, don’t let the butter or flour brown at all.
    Take the pan off the heat and add the milk in 3 stages. At each stage beat or whisk the milk into the flour until it is completely smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Once the flour is all in, bring the mixture back up to a simmer, stirring all the time to stop any lumps forming. Once the mixture looks as if it won’t thicken any more, simmer it for 5 minutes, stirring/whisking now and then, until it looks really glossy.
    Season with salt and white pepper (or black if you don’t mind the speckles). If you do have a few lumps, just strain the lot through a sieve.


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