I love food unconditionally and from anywhere in the world it arrives, I enjoy experimenting with unusual ingredients that come from far away places, but even more I like to revalue my origin with the interpretation of Italian courses of ancient tradition, and that’s how this Testaroli with artichokes, white sauce and basil coulis recipe were born.
Testaroli are a typical specialty of Lunigiana (an area which skirts both Tuscany and Liguria) used to prepare first courses.
Making Testaroli needs a peculiar procedure and very simple ingredients: they prepare a batter based on water, flour and salt, then they pour and distribute it on special pan preheated.
They cook the batter until solidified and small craters form on the surface; thus, they obtain porous and soft disks, similar to large crêpes.
Testaroli, before being eaten, are cut into lozenges and plunged in boiling salted water for about a minute; traditionally they are served with pesto or simply dressed with basil, oil and pecorino cheese.
The word “testaroli” derives from “testo” which is the special pan used to prepair them, which was once made of clay and today is made of cast iron, aluminum or other material.
To make this recipe I used the Testaroli by Acqua, Farina & Fantasia that are very practical and can be ordered through their online boutique at this link; once ordered Amazon will deliver them in just 2 days.
Some tricks before directions
Testaroli are easy to prepare, just cut them into squares or diamonds of about five centimeters per side and plunge them into boiling salted water, after less than a minute pick them up from the water with a perforated ladle not to ruin their shape.
In the ingredients of this recipe you find white sauce that should not be too thick, but rather soft and velvety.
If you don’t already have your own recipe, make this way:
white sauce (velvety type)
20 gr butter
20 gr all purpose flour
500 gr boiling milk
salt as required
nutmeg as required
Melt the butter in a pot at low heat, then remove from the heat, add the flour and mix well.
Bring back the pot at gentle heat, stir and brown your roux until it reaches a just golden color.
Remove the pot from the heat again and add the boiling milk, mixing with a whisk.
Put the pot back on a gentle heat and bring the white sauce to the boiling point, stir and keep it on the heat until you get the right density (in this case it will take a minute or two).
Finally add a pinch of nutmeg powder and salt as required.
Testaroli with artichokes, white sauce and basil coulis recipe
Calories: 400 kcal
- 420 gr testaroli
- 4-5 artichokes with thorns
- 150 gr white sauce
- 50 gr basil leaves
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Two garlic cloves
- Salt and Pepper as required
- Two lemons (for acidified water where soak artichokes)
Rinse the basil leaves, blanch them by plunging them in boiling water for a few seconds then pick them and transfer immediately in cold water with ice to stop cooking.
Squeeze the basil leaves very gently, place them in the jar of a hand blender, add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and one of cold water, mix until you get a sauce not too thick.
Season with salt and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a spoon.
Fill a soup bowl with cold water and the juice of the two lemons.
Remove the stalks and the outer and coriaceous leaves of artichokes, also cut the tops with thorns off.
Cut the artichoke hearts you obtained into two parts and, using a sharp knife tip, remove the inner hair.
As you clean them, soak your half artichoke hearts into the acidulated water so they will not get black.
Once the cleansing operation is finished, quickly rinse the artichokes with floating water and cut them into slices.
In a large pan, heat 4 tablespoons of oil with the whole garlic cloves without their skin and stir fry the artichokes for about two minutes, adjust with salt.
Cut the Testaroli into lozenges, plunge them in boiling salted water for about a minute keeping the heat to a minimum, pick them up with a perforated ladle and distribute them in your dishes, add the artichokes from which you have previously eliminated the garlic cloves and dress with the white sauce and the basil coulis.
Serve immediately, still hot, your testaroli with artichokes, white sauce and basil coulis, add freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese to taste.