Believe it or not, I was in the dark about white sauce for a long, long time. I’ve talked many times about eating dinner at my grandma’s on Sundays, but I don’t think I ever recall her making a white sauce. She was all about the red sauce – from spaghetti to stuffed shells and lasagna – and her homemade sauce was phenomenal. It wasn’t until I was much older (maybe high school?) that I had my first run-in with a bowl of fettuccine alfredo, and it was love at first bite. I’ve loved incorporating béchamel sauce into my pasta dishes, and finally found one that I adore. This would technically be considered a mornay since it includes cheese, but that just makes it infinitely better in my opinion.
As far as béchamel sauces go, this really cannot be beat. It’s thick, rich, creamy and wonderfully cheesy. I used it in lasagna and my baked tortellini and I think it was definitely the key to making both of those dishes so incredibly fabulous. While I’ll always love red tomato sauce, having a go-to béchamel sauce is now a necessity for me!
In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown and emits a nutty aroma.
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, whisk in the nutmeg, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
Remove from the heat, and add the shredded provolone a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.