Natalia Rosario, Contestant on Food Network’s CIAO HOUSE

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The series premiered 4/16/23.


Testaroli with scallops and peach tomato sauce 

Testaroli or Testarolo is the earliest recorded pasta and it is a native dish to the northern Tuscany region of Italy. For this recipe, I have combined traditional Italian ingredients with ingredients from my origins, representing who I am as chef and where I come from. It is important to say, that contrary to beliefs, tomatoes are not from Italy. In fact, tomatoes were introduced from the Americas to Italy in the 15th or 16th century. The smoky notes of the Italian cured meat speck, reminds me of the highlands of Mexico. This recipe is a reminder of how both cultures are so well connected.

Serves 4 

Testaroli (Tuscan Pancake Pasta):

2 cup flour

2 ½ cup water 

1 teaspoon salt 

¼ teaspoon baking powder 

Peach Plum Tomato sauce: 

3 medium tomatoes, quartered 

2 large peaches, pit removed and quartered

2 cloves of garlic 

2 tablespoon olive oil 

1 whole lemon juice 

Salt to taste 

Pepper to taste 


1 lb sea scallop

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Black pepper

4 slices of speck (can substitute for prosciutto or any other cured meat) 

8 sage leaves 

1 cup canola oil 

1 lemon, zest 


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Lay the speck slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper so that they don’t overlap, curling the edges like a nest so they don’t get too brown
  3. Bake until the slices start to shrivel and turn golden, 9-12 minutes. Keep your eye on it, as the speck can go from crisp to burned quickly
  4. Cool on a rack (they will crisp up as they cool). Break into large pieces
  5. Start by making the testaroli pasta, in a bowl combine flour, water, salt and baking powder; whisk continuously until there are no lumps. Batter should be smooth. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  6. In a skillet, add vegetable oil and add enough batter to the skillet, swirling to cover the entire bottom surface in a thin, even layer. Set over high heat and cook until browned and crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. 
  7. Using a thin metal spatula, lift Testaroli and flip. Cook on the other side until browned in spots, about 1 minute. 
  8. Wipe skillet clean, grease and repeat with remaining batter, do not stack them, you do not want them to steam. 
  9. Cut Testaroli into 2-inch diamond shapes. Reserve. 
  10. In skillet, add in the olive oil and bring to medium heat. When the oil is warm, add in the garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until it is very slightly golden on the edges, but not crisp. 
  11.  Add in the tomatoes and peaches. Use a w wooden spoon to mix them in with the garlic and make sure they are fully coated in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Add the tomato peach sauce to blender, blend until smooth and add in the lemon juice.
  13.  Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper
  14.  In skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil. 
  15. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook until golden brown on one side, 2-3 minutes
  16. Gently turn the scallops, and add the butter and garlic to the pan 
  17. Continue to cook, spooning the butter over the scallops until they are cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
  18.  Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil, heat until shimmering then add sage leaves in a single layer, it will only take approximately 30 seconds to crisp up. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle immediately with salt to taste. 
  19.  Using your favorite plate, start by putting a big spoon of the tomato peach sauce, add the scallop on top and add the testaroli around the scallop, add the fried speck on the side and finish with lemon zest on top and fried sage on top