Instead of rushing through the béchamel for her epic lasagna, chef Danielle Glantz of Pastaio Via Corta opts for a long, slow simmer, allowing the rich, thick white sauce to become infused with the flavor of a halved onion that becomes meltingly tender as the sauce cooks and thickens. This rich sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in airtight container; reheat slowly over low heat, adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.

December 2021 / January 2022


Credit: Photo by Justin Walker / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Recipe Summary

55 mins
55 mins
about 6 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Melt butter in large saucepan over low. Add flour, and slowly whisk until it resembles wet sand. Cook over low, whisking constantly, until mixture is shiny and smells toasty, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add cold milk. Once fully combined, switch to a wooden spoon. Add onion half, salt, and nutmeg. Cook over low to medium-low at a very gentle simmer, stirring very often, until onion is cooked through and sauce is very thick, about 45 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer; discard solids. Use warm, or refrigerate as directed.


Make Ahead

Béchamel can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator; reheat gently over low, stirring often.