I love making roux based sauces; they are so versatile, and they come together pretty quickly. Making sauces this way is one of the first kitchen tricks that my mom taught me when I was a child. It is a very common technique in French and Cajun cooking, and it is not nearly as difficult as many people believe.
A roux is simply a mixture of flour and fat that is used to thicken sauces. This technique can be used to make rich gravies, creamy cheese sauces (great on broccoli, or in mac & cheese), and simple white sauces (bechamels). To change the thickness of the resulting sauce, simply adjust the ratio of roux to liquid that is used; Here is a good guide on the proportions to use in order to get the desired consistency.
This version is creamy and just a little bit cheesy, so it was the perfect addition to our ravioli. The browned butter imparted a lovely, slightly nutty, flavor to the sauce that balanced the sharpness of the romano cheese that I used.
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1 cup cream
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tbs romano or parmesan cheese
salt to taste
|The brown roux; Adding the flavors; The thickened sauce|
1) Over medium heat, lightly brown the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour, and allow to brown for approximately one minute more.
2) Add the garlic, pepper, and oregano (you can see that I added salt at this stage too, but it's better to wait until the end - after you've added the cheese - so that you can salt to taste).
3) Add the cream and stir thoroughly, making sure to get rid of all lumps. I like to use a rubber spatula to get into the corners of the pan, and a whisk to ensure complete incorporation.
4) Bring mixture to a boil, and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should start to thicken at this point. Remove from heat.
5) Stir in the cheese. Add salt if desired. Toss with pasta.
|Scrumptious! Ravioli with cream sauce, tomatoes and Italian parsley.|