Fettucine with Simple Caper-Bechamel Sauce

This sauce is a delicious classic with subtle, yet flavorful additions that pair beautifully with the thickness of fettuccine style pasta, although any pasta noodle would be just fine.

Serves 4


2 cups whole milk
1 large bay leaf, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 TB. whole milk butter, unsalted
3 TB. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. grated cinnamon stick
4 TB. small capers, drained and rinsed of all liquids
1 package (8oz.) fettuccini pasta, cooked and set aside

1.Using a small saucepan, slowly heat the milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper until mixture comes to a boil. Begin the next step as soon as you start to heat the milk.

2.Using a medium size saucepan on low flame, melt the butter until frothy.

3.Add the flour and mix together using a wooden spoon, approx. 2-3 minutes. The mixture should become thick & paste-like, but not dry. Remove from heat. You have just made a roux¸ or French style thickening agent.

4.As soon as milk comes to a boil, remove from heat and strain directly into the roux. Discard any milk froth and bay leaves. Heat on medium-low.

5.Using a wire whisk, stir constantly. Add salt to taste, if necessary. Grate nutmeg and cinnamon directly into sauce or pre-measure and add. Continue stirring until mixture is thick throughout and all flavors are to taste.

6.Remove sauce from heat. Drain, rinse and pat dry capers, then add to sauce and stir. Enjoy immediately over warm fettuccine noodles. If making ahead, add a pat of butter to the top of sauce to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to three days.

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  1. It’s a lovely recipe, but what I adored were those beautiful, beautiful noodles. Those gorgeous colors made me think of jewels!

    We played around with pasta at school, but there was so much more we could do. For starters, I would have loved to have gotten my hands on some squid ink. What fun!


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