"testaroli" al pesto (a crepe-like pasta)
|January 26, 2010||Posted by ameliaps under any season, Italian, pasta and grains, pesto|
I did say I was on a mission to try Italian traditional recipes, especially the poor and ancient regional specialties.
I needed to make dinner in a pinch and had very few things on hand. I looked in my freezer and there was some pesto from the summer. So I thought quick of a pasta to soak up that summer goodness.
“Testaroli” are an old (they were known at least in the 1300s) and very simple pasta recipe the region of Lunigiana, confining next to Liguria, where pesto was invented. The name testaroli comes from “testo” which was a domed griddle (made with cast iron or stone) on which the pasta dough was cooked.
The dough is just flour (I like to use one third of whole wheat flour and 2/3 regular) and water. The procedure is interesting because the dough is first cooked into a crepe and then cut into strips then diamonds (or squares) and finally boiled like pasta. They have a pillowy consistency, almost like gnocchi and soak up the sauce wonderfully.
If you want to go sinful, make extra for dessert and drizzle them with Nutella (hazelnut spread) then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar!!!
The recipe is really very basic…it’s not even a recipe.
You basically want to use one part water and one part flour (I like to use some whole wheat too).
So for 4 people you might want to use:
1 cup water (8 fl. oz.)
1 cup flour (2/3 all-purpose, 1/3 whole wheat)
1 pinch of salt
Oil for the pan
Pesto to serve
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
(Optional garnish: toasted pine-nuts)
Whisk flour, water and salt together until well blended. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
Bubbles will form.
Meanwhile heat a round pan (whatever you use to make pancakes will work) and add some oil to coat.
Add some batter and swirl to coat and to make a round pancake (not too thin).
Cook for a couple of minutes and when its lightly brown on the bottom flip and cook on the other side.
Some like them pale and less cooked…
…but I like them a bit more on the browned side (personal preference)…
Lay the pancake on a cutting board, while you cook the rest of the batter (you should end up with 2 or 3 testaroli). When they are all ready, cut them in strips first, then diagonally into diamond (but squares will do).
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt, then add the pasta squares and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until they surface. Remove with a slotted spoon straight into the serving dish and toss with pesto and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.