Bechamel + ??? = Tasty Pasta Sauce

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Joined Sep 28, 2016
I'm looking to cold-hold some pasta sauces for quick service. For my white sauce, it was suggested I have a bechamel and then I can add to it in the pan. I was thinking saute some veg, add the cold bechamel to warm up, then add <flavor>, then my prepped protein (chicken, sausage), then finish by adding par-cooked pasta and warming through. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions as to what I can add to the bechamel to make a tasty sauce? Can I just add some flavoring?

bechamel + parmesan, bechamel + cajun seasoning, bechamel + pesto, bechamel + buffalo sauce...

Would they benefit by adding a little cream with the seasonings/flavorings?

I very much appreciate any help or suggestions! Thank you!
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
When storing your bechamel, place some plastic wrap over the top of the sauce making sure that the wrap comes in contact with as much of the surface as possible. This will help prevent a skin from forming while in the fridge.

When you warm up the bechamel, do it independently of whatever dish you are going to use it for. Don't just put the cold bechamel in the pan with your other ingredients. Put about 1/4 cup of water in a sauce pan and add the cold bechamel. The water will help prevent the sauce from scorching. Stir the sauce and gently bring it to a mild simmer. Then, you can add the bechamel to the pan with your other ingredients.

Bechamel is a base. You can add just about anything to bechamel. For instance, if you add buffalo seasoning to it, you will have a tasty dipping sauce for wings and tenders. You could also add aromatic herbs to it and have a sauce for proteins such as poultry, seafood, pork etc. Bechamel with fresh herbs pairs very nicely with pasta, too.

You can use bechamel as a base for gravies and cream based soups. However, since bechamel is made with milk, why would you want to add cream to it? If its to thicken it up, that should be done when its made by adjusting the amount of flour added to the mixture.

Bechamel also works very well with cheeses, especially cheeses that melt well. If you add Parm to it, you will have an Alfredo type sauce. Bechamel also pairs well with many spices. The possibilities are practically endless.

I hope this helps, good luck. :)
 
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Joined Sep 28, 2016
sgsvirgil sgsvirgil Thank you for your reply! Good point on not needing to add more cream as I can adjust the creaminess and viscosity when making the bechamel. And thanks for the tip about avoiding a skim on top! I appreciate your reply, cheers!
 

pete

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The sky's the limit. Bechamel makes a great base for so many flavors, but the one that immediately comes to mind is adding a bit of pesto.
 
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