Testaroli al pesto

50 minutes


  • 600g of plain flour
  • 500ml of water
  • salt


  • 90g of basil leaves
  • 20g of Parmesan, (use a similar cheese that uses vegetable rennet if serving to vegetarians)
  • 1 tbsp of pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 120ml of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for covering the pesto


Prepare the testaroli batter by whisking flour and water together in a large bowl. It should be quite thick yet still spreadable – add more water if needed to reach the right texture
Set a large skillet over a medium heat and grease it with a drop of olive oil. Add a ladleful (about 100ml) of batter and tilt the skillet so that it spreads evenly and forms a layer that’s about 3mm thick (help it spread with a spatula). Cook until dry on the top. Gently flip the crepe – you can use a plate or lid to make the flipping easier, as it were a tortilla – and cook on the other side for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a plate and carry on until you run out of batter
Cut the crepes into diamonds. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil
While you wait for the water to boil, make the pesto. Place all the ingredients except for the oil in a blender. Pour in half the oil and start pulsing in short, regular intervals to break down the ingredients. Slowly pour in the rest of the oil and carry on blending until you have a smooth, creamy, slightly loose pesto. Transfer to a small bowl, add a little more oil to cover the surface and then wrap in cling film until ready to use
Cook the testaroli in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Top with the basil pesto and toss to dress evenly. Serve right away