By Josh Talbot

Don’t succumb to takeaway temptation – even when the going gets tough and Deliveroo is calling, this simple bechamel sauce is versatile enough to get you through.

To be served with pasta – as part of a Bolognese, lasagne, bake or just knocked up with spaghetti, this sauce is a student staple and, with vegan alternative ingredients available and equally as easy to use, it’s a far more sustainable option than take away both for your bank account and the environment.

Step by step:

To begin making your sauce, vegan and dairy diets alike, you need to make a roux start by adding fat to a saucepan – melting butter or adding a few lashings of olive oil will do the trick. 

A roux is effectively a thickening agent made out of flour and fat and so, if you haven’t guessed the next stage already – chuck in a bit of flour. These measurements are approximate (obviously) but as a student, you are probably looking to play it by ear anyway so, a bit of advice would be to try to get an equal flour to fat ratio for your mix.  Cook together for a couple of minutes until the ingredients have started to form a solid clump.

The next step will see you adding milk and stirring; oat milk can be used as an alternative for this step. As a tip, it can be useful to take the pan off of the heat here and add an initial splash and whisk until you can see that the clumps of roux have been absorbed in the sauce. From there you can add the rest of your milk, whilst continuing to whisk, turn the heat back on and bring the mixture to a boil.

Once you have some heat, you can switch out the whisk for a wooden spoon. Be sure to pick up speed with your mixing when it comes to a boil.

When you are satisfied that you have a sauce that is the right consistency, you can take it off the heat and marvel at the wonderful bit of cooking that you have just done. You are good, aren’t you? Well done you!

But wait! Whilst what you have made is technically a bechamel sauce, if you want something that tastes any good, be sure to add your cheese, or alternatives.

Whilst the mix is still hot, add grated cheddar, to your liking and stir in. If you are looking for a dairy free alternative for this step, nutritional yeast is your best friend- stir in and enjoy.

Image credit: Tookapic

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