5 Handy Tips To Fix Your Lumpy White Sauce Messing Up Your Pasta

A perfect white sauce, or béchamel has a smooth, silky texture, just the right amount of creaminess and a slightly sweet, peppery taste accentuated with the addition of your favourite cheese and some nutmeg. But on rare occasions, a mixed-up ratio of flour to butter to milk can make the white sauce a lumpy mess which seems hard to save.

Fear not, there are some handy tips to rescue a béchamel that looks lumpy and overboiled. From adding ice-cold water to whisking vigorously, these simple kitchen hacks can revive the white sauce that can then be seasoned lightly with oregano and garlic to add to your favourite fettucine or penne recipe. Read on below for some tips to fix your béchamel:

Blend The Lumps

If the white sauce appears to be excessively lumpy, simply take it off the heat. Let the sauce cool for a bit, then use a blender to get rid of all the lumps before putting the saucepan back on the flame. Add a bit of water to this mix because a cold pasta sauce can tend to become too thick and congealed.

Strain The Sauce

Sometimes, if the flour to butter ratio is a bit misjudged, it can cause small lumps that are difficult to get rid of using a whisk. The easiest way to get rid of these granular lumps is to strain the sauce. The lumps that are caught in the strainer can be crushed and mixed with a bit of milk which can go back into the sauce to avoid waste. Stir continuously to prevent lumps from reforming.

Add Cold Water

An easy and known tip to save lumpy bechamel is to add ice-cold water to the saucepan. If the white sauce becomes one huge congealed mess, gradually pour water in and keep whisking until the lump is broken down and the white sauce starts acquiring a creamy and smooth texture.

Whisk Continuously

One of the main reasons that white sauce goes lumpy is a lack of proper stirring. When butter and flour are adequately golden brown, the milk added gradually needs to be stirred continuously to avoid lumps. However, if the lumps do appear, simply take a whisk as use all your arm strength to get rid of them.

Adjust Milk Ratio

If the sauce contains too much butter or flour, it acquires a slightly doughy taste and the risk of lumps also increases. Lumps springing up because of these miscalculated proportions of butter and flour can be broken down by stirring in some more milk. This will increase the proportion of liquid textures and give the sauce a silkier form.