White Sauce

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A variation on Béchamel, this recipe emulates the way the classic sauce was prepared during the 19th century and yields a more nuanced flavor.
about 1 1/3 cups (serving size: about 2 1/2 tablespoons)


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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped prosciutto
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)


1. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through prosciutto) to pan, and cook 10 minutes (do not brown), stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Gradually add milk to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add herbs and bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if desired.

Created date

March 2009

Nutritional Information

Calories 56
Fat 4.3 g
Satfat 2.7 g
Monofat 1.1 g
Polyfat 0.2 g
Protein 1.7 g
Carbohydrate 2.8 g
Fiber 0.0 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Iron 0.1 mg
Sodium 95 mg
Calcium 53 mg