Testaroli with pesto sauce

This Tuscan dish was traditionally cooked over hot coals in a large, shallow dish with a domed lid made either of terracotta or cast-iron called a testo.

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  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation Time: 40 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins


  • For the pesto sauce:
  • 50 (1 cup) basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 40 g pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 80 – 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 40 g (½ cup) grated pecorino cheese
  • 40 g (½ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • For the testaroli:
  • 375 g (3 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • salt


  1. First, make the pesto sauce. Put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and walnuts in a mortar and pound with a pestle until smooth and thoroughly combined. Gradually stir in the oil, grated cheeses and a pinch of salt, if necessary.

  2. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and gradually stir in 720 ml (3 cups) water to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter into a non-stick frying pan or skillet with a lid. Cover and cook over hot coals or on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side.

  3. Remove the pancake from the dish and cut into diamond shapes about 3 cm (1¼ inches) long oneach side. Continue until all the batter is used up.

  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the testaroli, bring back to a boil and cook for only 2 minutes. Drain and serve immediately with the pesto sauce.

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