The testo was also used to make other recipes such as the traditional Lunigiana herb cake, typical of the upper Val di Magra. There’s no specific recipe: each family prepares their own version. If you use field herbs, the flavour changes with the season. The herbs, or chard, are cut, washed and salted while raw, then well squeezed and seasoned with oil and cheese. This mixture is placed between two layers of puff pastry, very simply prepared and rolled out thinly with water, oil, wheat flour and salt. At this point, the tart is cooked in the testo. Today, it is laid out in a pan and then placed in the testo. At one time, however, it was placed directly on the cast iron and, so that the dough did not stick to the bottom, a special and environmentally-friendly “baking paper” was used: large chestnut leaves!
While testarolo and the herb quiche are two simple dishes, there’s no shortage of more complicated recipes made using the testo, such as the so-called meat “al testo”. The meat, already portioned, is placed on a tray with potatoes and cooked in the testo with oil (or lard), garlic, parsley, sage and rosemary. This type of cooking makes the surface crispy, as happens in the oven, but keeps the interior very soft and flavourful due to the steam. One of the most delicious meats is Zeri lamb, another Slow Food speciality: a native sheep breed, which over time has maintained its characteristics thanks to the isolation of this area of Lunigiana.
Other recipes can be made using Lunigiana testi. In addition to bread, we can also prepare focaccia and pizza that become crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.