For years now, white sauce had been my arch-rival in the cookery world. I have lost count of the number of times I must have tried making it and then throwing a pan full of the lumpy, gooey mess away. I am a die-hard pasta lover and it always irked me that I am unable to make this sauce at home to enjoy.
Yesterday evening, I resolved to once again, give it a go! I saw numerous videos and they all looked easy enough. The recipe seemed simple and I was puzzled at myself for having failed at this task several times. So, fast forward two hours later. I did it!!!!!!! I could finally make delicious white sauce at home and let me tell you what exactly made a gigantic difference between my previous failures and this success- A WHISK!
Using a whisk made all the difference in the world and with it, the chore at hand finished easily and so beautifully. So folks, tip no. 1- do not substitute whisk for a fork or anything else. Trust me, I know!
Once you nail the sauce, there is nothing major left in this recipe. It’s literally a child’s play. So, give it a go today and enjoy!
For the bechamel sauce:
2 cups milk
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup cheddar or mozzarella grated cheese
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
A quarter of a small onion
For the pasta:
1 cup fusilli
2 tbsn olive oil
1 tsp fresh, chopped garlic
1 bell pepper
1 tsp mixed Italian seasoning
Salt pepper to taste
Some parmesan cheese (optional)
-Let’s start by making the white sauce. In a sauce-pan, heat your butter.
– Add all purpose flour to the butter and immediately start whisking it all together with a whisk. Keep the heat on low.
-Keep whisking continuously on low heat, till the raw aroma of the flour goes away.
– Once the colour darkens slightly, add half the milk and again, keep whisking till you get rid of all the lumps. Repeat with the rest of the milk. Your hand will get a bit tired of all the whisking but you are nearly there.
– Once you get a smooth, glossy, lump-free sauce, let it simmer away for some time. You can keep down the whisk now (phew!). Stir from time to time! At this point, add the onion, bayleaf and cloves to it. You can also repeat the above step with some more milk if the sauce looks too thick for you.
-Finally, after around 6-7 minutes, add the cheddar cheese to the sauce, along with salt & pepper to taste. Discard the cloves, bay leaf and onion. Your yummy white bechamel sauce for the pasta is ready!
-Now,the pasta. Boil the fusilli pasta according to the instructions n the pack. You can use any pasta of your preference here!
-In a wok, take a little olive oil and once it gets hot, add your chopped garlic to it.
-Once it sizzles, add the sliced onions, bell pepper and mushrooms and saute on medium heat till they get nicely roasted but are still crunchy. Do not cover and cook or your veggies will go soggy.
-Add the white sauce and mix well. If the consistency seems thick to you, you can add some hot water to thin it out.
-Finally, add the boiled fusilli pasta to the veggies and sauce and let it all cook for about 2-3 minutes more. Also add the Italian seasoning at this point.
-Adjust the salt & pepper.
– Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the pasta and serve hot.
If you decide to make your sauce a few hours ahead of time, then storing it is a bit tricky! Cool the unused portion and transfer to a bowl. Make sure to wrap a piece of cling film directly in contact with the surface of the sauce prior to refrigerating it so that it doesn’t form a skin. You can refrigerate it for 2-3 days. Before serving, heat the sauce on low flame in a pan,till it melts and gets uniform and glossy again.