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Ligurian Testaroli with Pesto



For Testaroli:

  • All-purpose flour: 300g (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
  • Water: 450g (about 1 and 7/8 cups)
  • Fine salt: 1 pinch

For the Sauce:

  • Basil: 40g (about 1.4 ounces or a large handful)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano DOP: 50g (about 1/2 cup grated)
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 30g (about 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons)


To prepare the testaroli, start with the sauce: clean the basil leaves with a soft cloth and place them in the tall glass of a blender. Add the Parmesan and olive oil. Blend everything with an immersion blender until you get a smooth mixture.

Set aside and proceed to the testaroli: preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.

  1. Gradually pour in the water while whisking to achieve a smooth and homogeneous batter. When the skillet is hot, lightly oil it using a paper towel.
  2. Pour a ladle of batter into the skillet, starting from the outer edge, filling the pan evenly. The thickness of each testarolo should be between 3-5mm (about 1/8 to 1/5 inch). Cook for about 3-4 minutes, then flip with a spatula and cook for about 1 more minute. Transfer the cooked testaroli to a cutting board to cool.
  3. Once the batter is used up, cut the cooled testaroli first into strips, then into diamonds about 5 cm (2 inches) on each side. When ready, revive the testaroli in boiling salted water to taste for about 2-3 minutes. Prepare the serving plates by greasing the bottom with a little oil.
  4. Drain the testaroli well on the plate, dress them with a little more oil, and sprinkle with the basil and cheese sauce. Serve the testaroli immediately!
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