arthur ave ravioli and winter white béchamel with basil and nutmeg

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by one of New York’s favorite traditions. Millions of people travel to one of the greatest places in the world every year and we’re lucky enough to have this colorful culinary city a stones throw away. Most folks know about Little Italy’s Mulberry Street in Manhattan (check out my review on the areas famed San Gennaro Fest), but few out-of-towners travel to New York Cities real Little Italy. Arthur Ave, the Bronx. The area is chocked full of restaurants, gourmet deli’s, and all sorts of specialty shops. Thanks to my Uncle Stephen’s trip this weekend, tonight’s plate is straight from those shops. Ravioli so fresh it travels in a white paper box. I couldn’t imagine ruining them with a heavy marinara so I opted for a Basil White Béchamel with hint of Nutmeg instead. It also makes a great base for white veggie lasagna! Here’s what I did.

The beauty of tradition :)

The beauty of tradition 🙂

Fresh ravioli with basil white béchamel and nutmeg

Fresh ravioli with basil white béchamel and nutmeg


1 container ravioli, the fresher the better!

2 cloves of garlic, cut in half


3 TBS Butter

1/4 cup Flour

2 cups Milk

Handful of chiffonade basil

Pinch of ground nutmeg


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt liberally and add the ravioli. Cook 10-15 minutes until done.

Fresh raviolis

Fresh raviolis

Meanwhile, over medium heat, drizzle a sauté pan with about 1 TBS of EVOO. Add the garlic and cook until golden but not browned. Remove and discard.

Add the butter and melt. Slowly sprinkle in flour while whisking constantly. Let the roux cook out for about 1 minute. Next, again slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook about 5 minutes, whisking frequently until thickened. Remove from the heat and add a dash of salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Top ravioli with sauce and garnish with basil and parmesan cheese.

This light béchamel sauce let's the true star, the ravioli, shine.

This light béchamel sauce let’s the true star, the ravioli, shine.

This recipe is such a simple sauce it can be whipped up just about any night of the week for an easy family dinner or an impressive elegant party dish. A great base for vegetable lasagna or served here as a simple companion for fresh, homemade pasta (thanks to Borgatti’s and thanks to Uncle Stephen!), this béchamel is the perfect versatile sauce.

Borgatti's ravioli is simply savory!

Borgatti’s ravioli is simply savory! “It’s well worth the trip!”

Eat Well (and travel for food frequently!),

Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian

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