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testaroli pesto recipe

Testaroli: a traditional recipe from Lunigiana

Testaroli are considered the ancestors of modern pasta and are an ancient dish originating from Lunigiana, a territory between Tuscany, Liguria and Emilia Romagna, between the sea and the mountains.

Some believe that this dish dates back to ancient Rome and for this reason it is defined as one of the oldest pasta dishes ever.

They are prepared in cast iron containers called “testi”, from which they take their name and which represent the secret of their genuineness.

Two dishes can be prepared with the same dough: panigacci and testaroli.

Panigacci and testaroli are different in cooking, in fact, panigacci are cooked in the oven at very high temperature (in restaurants) or directly on the stove (at home), are considered a single dish and are usually served with cold cuts and cheese.

If boiled, instead, they are called testaroli and are often served with oil and parmesan cheese, mushroom sauce or pesto.

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Ingredients of Testaroli

– About 300 grams of flour 00

– 450 grams of warm water

– A pinch of salt


Pour the flour and salt into your planetarium and add the water gradually, stirring constantly until the mixture is fluid.

Leave the mixture to rest for 10/15 minutes and then proceed to cook by pouring the dough with a ladle over a cast iron and cook over high heat for a few minutes.

If you want to prepare the Panigacci at home:

Cook the mixture for a few minutes, until it becomes crunchy on the outside. Panigacci are ready and should be combined with cold cuts and cheeses, using mainly soft cheeses such as gorgonzola or stracchino.

If you want to prepare Testaroli at home:

Once the Panigacci are ready, let them cool for a few minutes and then cut them into strips of about 3/4 cm. and then each strip into triangles.

Bring to boil a large pot with salted water and pour the cut Testaroli and cook them for a couple of minutes.

Drain them and serve them with pesto or with oil and parmesan or mushroom sauce.

Would you like a taste of the real testaroli? Book our food tour in La Spezia Cinque Terre!

Read other delicious recipesĀ here.