White Sauce Pasta is a French recipe introduced in the mid-sixteenth century. The white sauce pasta is boiled pasta served with creamy white sauce and béchamel sauce. Now there’s a long history behind the name bechamel. It is named after Louis de Béchamel, the chief steward to King Louis XIV in France.
Okay, let’s pull back to the recipe.
Pasta made in white sauce is a vegetarian recipe and takes around 30 minutes. Moreover, the dish is flexible and customizable as well. And you do not need to fuss too much as the recipe is simple. First, let me explain the terms béchamel and white sauce and how they are interrelated.
The French name for white sauce is béchamel. It is the very first thing taught to aspiring chefs in French cuisine. If you taste it, you will keep adding it to various dishes like chicken and vegetables. In short, the sauce is versatile.
However, that’s not the only thing. This special sauce is the base of other more complex recipes like alfredo sauce and soufflés.
The French secret to a perfect white sauce
The secret lies in the cooking method. First, it is made in butter and not cooking oil. This is the reason why we get a silky smooth taste and texture. Secondly, they combine flour, salt and seasoning in a separate bowl, whisk them properly, and saute the mixture in butter.
The essential element is adding the milk and gently whisking the mixture to integrate smoothness. This is how a typical white sauce is made. The thickness of the sauce depends on the taste of the one making it.
For instance, I prefer a medium thick sauce. In short, if you add milk, it will reduce the thickness. But, on the contrary, if you stir the same on high flames for a couple of minutes, you will get a thicker sauce.
How to customize your white sauce pasta?
If you look closely, boiled pasta serves as a medium to serve the white sauce. It is because we can dip bread or chapati in white sauce and eat. But, yeah, we can’t do that the way we do in the paneer recipe. It is because the sauce is mild in hotness. Moreover, there are no spices and ground masala that we use in our regular Indian recipes.
Hence, the question is, how do you customize the white sauce? I mean, what options do we have? Let’s take a look.
To make white sauce pasta, we need to make the basic white sauce first, and we already know how versatile it is. The way we can modify the white sauce is the most helpful characteristic. Let me show you how. Add red or white pepper to give an extra kick to the flavours.
Further, grate cheese into the sauce to integrate a cheesy flavour. Ensure you don’t grate cheese while your sauce is at room temperature. Lower the flame and then add grated cheese or whole cheese cubes. Stir until the cheese melts, and you are done. You have successfully flavoured your white sauce for pasta.
White Sauce Pasta Extra Shots
I love this recipe, and I am sure you will too. So here are some tips to more it more delicious.
- I have used penne pasta, but you can experiment using macaroni pasta.
- Adjust the amount of water based on the quantity of pasta.
- Add a teaspoon of cooking oil to keep the pasta from getting too sticky.
- Milk is the base of the sauce; hence use full-fat milk to get a rich texture.
- Use nutmeg powder as a seasoning to add aroma and nutty flavour to the recipe.
- Use red chilli flakes, oregano, and black pepper to flavour your sauce.
- Add meat, chicken or bacon pieces to enrich the sauce and its flavours.
- Parmesan cheese is the classic choice. But, even regular cheese will do.
- Steam or roast the vegetables before using them to get better flavours.
- Mushrooms and herbs are a great add-on to enhance the flavours. Try it.
- If you are a vegan, use almond milk to make the white sauce.