I first encountered testaroli when the hubby and I went out to dinner on a vacation to Portland, Oregon, and it was on the menu. It’s rare that I bump into something that I have never seen or even read about as watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks are two of my favorite activities. Testaroli is an Italian dish that has been around since the time of the Etruscans. There are articles that I read that note it is the oldest known pasta.
It is traditionally served with pesto but I can’t wait to experiment with other sauces. I am the first to admit that this is not the most attractive meal on the planet but it is delicious.
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Testaroli with Pesto
Serves 3 – 4
10 oz (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
20 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
canola or vegetable oil
Pesto Sauce – I used about 3/4 of a cup to serve 3
Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
How to Make Testaroli
Preheat a cast iron pan in the oven to 525°
While the pan is heating make the batter
Pour/ladle a thin coat of the batter into the pan to cover the bottom.
Let cook until small bubbles form. About 2 – 3 minutes
Flip the crepe and let cook on the over side to crisp up
Immediately drain the pot into a strainer.
How Was the Testaroli?
It was as good as I remembered from the restaurant. I can’t believe I had never heard of this before – it is not the last time I will be making it. This is a dish that is driven by the sauce – the underlying crepe/pasta/pancake whatever you want to call it – is good – but it’s the sauce that’s that star of the meal.
The pesto I used for this meal I had made the day before. The recipe? That’s a tough one – I don’t measure when I make pesto. I just use what I have on hand with basil and go from there. Sorry… What I don’t use in the first week I freeze in ice cube trays so I have it for later.
I did manage to work a pesto recipe up but by all means feel free to improvise. Honestly, I probably don’t make pesto the same way twice.
How Does the Testaroli Keep?
I can also let you know that the Testaroli holds over well for leftovers mixed with the pesto. The crepes can be kept wrapped, then cut and boiled a couple of days later and they taste freshly made. I haven’t tried freezing them so I can’t, at least at this point, report on that.
What I do know is that I will be trying these delicious crepes with fresh tomato sauce when I have tomatoes and with a variation on eggplant pesto when the eggplants come in. They are a delightful base for different sauces.
The trip to Portland was such a delight. Hopefully we will get back there again as there is still so much more to see. You can bet I will want to go back to the restaurant where we had these testaroli – assuming it’s still there – and try something else. The food was so good.Print
Testaroli with Pesto
Italian boiled crepes with homemade pesto sauce
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 - 4 1x
- Category: main dish
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Italian
- 10 oz (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
- 20 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- canola or vegetable oil
- Pesto Sauce – I used about 3/4 of a cup to serve 3
- Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat a cast iron pan in the oven to 525°
- While the pan is heating make the batter
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly add the water, a little at a time until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Let sit for about 20 minutes to rest.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set over medium high heat.
- Add a small amount of oil to the pan and spread to coat
- Pour/ladle a thin coat of the batter into the pan to cover the bottom.
- Let cook until small bubbles form. About 2 – 3 minutes
- Flip the crepe and let cook on the over side to crisp up
- Remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat until all the batter is used, re-oiling when necessary.
- Do not pile the crepes on top of one another.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- While the water is heating cut the crepes; first into strips, then into diamonds.
- When the water reaches a full, rolling boil add the crepe pieces and then turn off the heat.
- Immediately drain the pot into a strainer.
- Add the testaroli to a bowl with half of the pesto in the bottom
- Gently toss the pasta adding the additional pesto until coated.
- Serve with shredded Parmesan
Prep time includes the time to make the pesto