I have seen instances where people mix white sauce / bechamel with spaghetti or macaroni but never seen a reputable chef to do so. This mix is sometimes mistaken for carbonara since its creamy white. Is it authentic to do so? If not can please also expound what béchamel usually used for for added information.

  • 1
    Ask Italians what's authentic and you'll get different answers from each.
    – GdD
    May 25 '19 at 16:27
  • Well I was hoping to know if the use of white sauce mixed with noodle type pasta is common among Italian. Maybe not common but is there any records of such dish? May 25 '19 at 16:55
  • What I'm trying to say is that there's no such thing as common in Italy when it comes to food. There's a huge variation in style from north to south, and traditions are different from town to town. However, I have traveled widely in Italy and I've never seen a white sauce with pasta other than lasagna.
    – GdD
    May 25 '19 at 19:27
  • If you search "pasta besciamella" you'll find dozens of recipes (in Italian). Most of it is for baked pasta but not all of it.
    – user50726
    May 25 '19 at 20:02
  • @GdD exactly what I meant. I have seen instances of white sauce mixed with noodle type pasta in my country (not italy or french) Also in non Italian youtube sources. This makes me question the authenticity of such dish then I came here if anyone can confirm. Aris answer is also interesting will look further. May 26 '19 at 5:21

In Italy, besciamella is usually only used on pasta when it's going to be cooked in the oven: pasta al gratin, pasta al forno, or as part of lasagne.

As for your question - is it authentic to just toss some pasta with it? I would use the same method I'd use to answer the infamous "is X a sandwich?" questions: if somebody asked for a plate of spaghetti at a restaurant and they came covered in besciamella, I think basically every Italian would be baffled. I've never seen it on a menu, never seen it on a table at anyone's place and never heard it discussed until I read this discussion, which makes me inclined to say it's not authentic. It could still be delicious though!

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    Yes I completely agree with you. I have seen pasta covered in bachiemela a couple of times even on youtube but never in Italy. They are attempting to make carbonara but dont like the idea of raw egg just tossed with pasta, so they try to make creamy sauce to mimic carbonara. Whats creamy? Milk. I highly disagree with such method.. but after sometime, hey! Isnt milk based sauce is basically bechamel? This inspired me to ask this question. It seems their action is not justified even after calling it bechamel. May 31 '19 at 12:03

I use it to make a slightly less rich 'carbonara-esque' sauce with pasta; bacon [or pancetta] onion, garlic. Make a roux round that, then milk, mushrooms, cheese, done.

I always considered it just a poor-man's carbonara - though it's fabulously tasty.

However, though it seems to have fallen in popularity under its original name, salsa colla, Béchamel actually originated in Tuscany & was later taken to France & renamed.

I'd say that gives us every moral right to put it on pasta & call it 'authentic Italian'.


Traditional (authentic?) Lasagna is made with Bechamel sauce.

Anyway, what does authentic mean, and how long a food tradition makes something authentic.

For example, Pasta Grannies


I think the ground principle behind the use of bechamel can be worded by saying that it's used to keep things together (and wet!) and to have a surface that becomes crunchy and brown when you bake pasta (or other things, for instance, vegetables)

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