Testaroli is a classic Italian pasta that's cooked in two steps: first it's baked in the oven, then it's boiled until tender. Here we top it with a fresh basil-and-parsley pesto. Read more about testaroli here.

EatingWell.com, September 2021


Credit: Francesca Zani and Johncarlo Zani

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr




Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare testaroli: Set a large cast-iron skillet (or other heavy oven-safe skillet) on the middle oven rack; preheat to 400°F. Once the oven has preheated, let the pan continue heating for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a bare simmer. Whisk flour, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth.

  • Coat the heated skillet with olive oil spray and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour in half the batter, making sure it's evenly spread around the pan. Bake until the testaroli is set in the center (the top will be pale and some air bubbles may appear while baking), about 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and, using a spatula, flip the testaroli out of the pan onto a cutting board. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • While the testaroli is in the oven, make the pesto: Place basil, parsley (or additional basil), oil, 2 tablespoons cheese, garlic, pine nuts and salt into a food processor; pulse until smooth. (Alternatively, place garlic and pine nuts in a large mortar and pestle; grind until mostly smooth. Add basil and parsley, if using, in batches and use sprinkles of salt to help grind the mixture down into almost a paste-like consistency. Stir in cheese and oil.)

  • When cool enough to handle, cut the testaroli into 2½- to 3-inch pieces and place in the simmering water. Cook gently until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the testaroli to a shallow bowl or platter and spoon the pesto over the top in layers. Generously sprinkle with grated Pecorino (or Parmesan), if desired, and enjoy.

To make ahead

Refrigerate pesto (Step 4) for up to 3 days. Remove the pesto from the fridge an hour before using to bring to room temperature.


00 flour is a very finely ground flour that gives pasta a tender texture. If you can't find it, you can substitute all-purpose flour—your pasta might be a little tougher but it will be no less delicious.

Nutrition Facts

about 1 cup
564 calories; fat 43g; cholesterol 2mg; sodium 653mg; carbohydrates 38g; dietary fiber 3g; protein 8g; niacin equivalents 3mg; saturated fat 6g; vitamin a iu 3544IU; potassium 270mg.