Testaroli of Lunigiana a tasty specialty of Tuscany
The Delicious Testaroli of Lunigiana are a specialty pasta of Northern Tuscany. Someone says that they are the first kind of pasta ever made, because is dated back to the Ancient Rome. Its production is located in the Lunigiana area, especially in the villages of Pontremoli, Fosdinovo and Castagnetoli. You can easily find them in all shops and supermarkets of the province of Massa-Carrara and La Spezia, while it’s really difficult to find them in other parts of Tuscany.
The Testaroli of Lunigiana are a typical example of gastronomy of the poor peasants and shepherds of the area. They became quite popular after the Second World War, and nowadays the Slow Food foundation protects them as a traditional product at risk of extinction
Pontremoli is one of the birthplace of Testaroli of Lunigiana.
The original cast iron “Testi” where to cook Testaroli of Lunigiana.
How to make Testaroli of Lunigiana
The ingredients to prepare Testaroli of Lunigiana are really common. You just need wheat flour (in the past they used spelt flour), marine salt, and water. Once you mixed the ingredients, you have to drop some of the batter in really big container called “Testo“. The name Testaroli comes from the Testi, these kind of cast iron baking pans (once also made in terracotta), necessary to create a thin “pancake”.
Of course Testaroli has nothing to compare with pancakes, but it is just to help you realizing how they look like. To prepare the original Testaroli, you need to bake them using a wooden hoven.
When Testaroli are toasted, you will have a big disk to cut in lozenge shape stripes with a knife. When the salted water in the pan is boiling, immerse the cutted testaroli in the water and turn off the fire. Let the pasta cook for three minutes, and then drain the water.
Thanks to the porosity of the batter, Testaroli of Lunigiana absorbs perfectly all kind of sauce, and your palate will be delighted.
How to season the Testaroli of Lunigiana
Testaroli are really good with pesto sauce as Lunigiana tradition says. But you can also use mushrooms sauce, ragout sauce, or just extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.