Five Classic Sauces 0



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If you really want to take your cooking skills to the next level, having a few basic sauce recipes down is a great place to start. These five sauces are absolute classics and will make anything you pair with them seem extra special.

Basic Béchamel


  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 75g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg


1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil, thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan, salt and nutmeg.



  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 60g butter, cut into 1.5cm cubes


1. Whisk egg yolks and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl.

2. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water over low heat. Whisk for 3 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and pale. Add 1 cube butter. Whisk until melted. Repeat with remaining butter (this will take about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.



  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion


1. In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Red Wine Jus


  • 30g butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock


1. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

2. Add wine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Season with pepper.

Basil pesto


  • 3 firmly packed cups basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • small handful chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)


1. Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired.


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