Trofie al pesto is one of the many Italian pasta dishes known all over the world. It’s one of the most famous dish of traditional Ligurian cuisine, made with basil pesto and trofie pasta.
You can make Trofie al Pesto with very few ingredients: basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and – obviously – trofie. In this recipe we are going to show you step by step how to make authentic Genovese pesto to dress trofie cooked al dente. Trofie are the most classic pasta to eat with Italian basil pesto.
In this recipe we’ll show you how to get a creamy and tasty pesto with a food processor, using some tricks. Then we’ll also teach you how to make homemade trofie pasta.
Of course, instead of making them you can buy them, fresh or dried, in any shop that sells Italian food products. What is certain is that handmade trofie have a completely different flavor!
That said, now let’s see together how to make the recipe for Trofie al Pesto!
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Trofie al Pesto Recipe
- Prep Time for pesto: 15 Min
- Prep Time for trofie: 40 minutes + 30 minutes to rest
- Cook Time: 5/7 Min
- Yelds: 4
For Genovese Pesto:
- 50 g (1,7 oz) leaves basil (about 60/65 leaves)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 70 g (2,4 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano (about 6 tablespoons)
- 30 g (1 oz) Pecorino Fiore Sardo (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 peeled cloves garlic
- 15 g (0,5 oz) pine nuts (about 1 tablespoon )
- 4/5 grains of coarse salt
For Trofie Pasta:
If you want to MAKE trofie, here are the doses for 500 g (1.1 lb) of homemade trofie
- 400 g (0,90 lb) of durum wheat semolina flour
- 200 ml of water
- 1/3 teaspoon of fine salt
If you want to BUY trofie, ready to be cooked, you need:
- 340 g (12 oz) of fresh Trofie pasta. We recommend Pasta Trofie by Rustichella D’Abruzzo
Recipe for Fresh Basil Pesto
First, you make basil pesto. If you prefer, you can do it 2 or 3 days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in a glass jar or airtight food container. Cover it with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to keep it fresh green. Let’s see how to do it.
Step 1) – For this recipe you need a food processor. So wash the basil leaves with cold water then place them in a large bowl with plenty of ice for 3-4 minutes. Now dry the leaves very well. Place them into the food processor with the garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano.
Step 2) – Chop the ingredients coarsely for a few seconds then add coarse salt and Pecorino cheese. Blend all the ingredients for about 1 minute. Now add extra virgin olive oil. Blend for about 5 minutes, until you’ll get a creamy green pesto sauce
Now Italian basil pesto is ready. Let’s see how to make homemade trofie.
For more details, tips, methods and informations about pesto, read our more detailed recipe: Pesto Genovese | Authentic Italian Basil Pesto
Homemade Trofie Pasta
Step 3) – Place the flour on your work surface. Then make a hole in the center. Add the fine salt and pour the water, a little at a time, in order to use what is needed to make an elastic and homogeneous mixture.
Step 4) – Knead with your hands vigorously for 5-10 minutes. The dough must be compact and must not stick to your hands. Then form a loaf and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes covered with a cotton cloth.
Step 5) – Then remove a few pieces of dough and make very small balls, as big as a hazelnut. Roll the dough balls under the palm of your hand on the pastry board. The movement must take place obliquely or diagonally and not in a straight line. This will give the Trofie the classic twisted shape.
Trofie pasta is ready!
For more details, tips, methods and informations about homemade trofie, read our more detailed recipe: How to Make Homemade Trofie Pasta
Cook and Season
Now you need to cook the trofie. So boil plenty of salted water in a large pot.
Step 6) – When the water boils, turn down the heat and slowly pour in the trofie, a few at a time. If you bought trofie pasta, cook them following the cooking times described on the packaging.
If you are using fresh homemade trofie, they usually take between 5 to 7 minutes to cook. However, after the first 2/3 minutes, it’s better to taste the pasta in order to drain trofie when they are al dente (not too cooked to be soft and sticky nor too raw to be hard and crunchy).
If your pesto is too thick, don’t worry. Pour it into a little bowl and dilute it with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking water. This way you’ll have a warmed homogeneous soft pesto sauce ready to dress your Trofie al Pesto!
You can keep trofie al pesto closed in an airtight food container for up to three days in the refrigerator. You can heat them in a frying pan or in the microwave, adding 1 tablespoon of water and 1 of oil to soften them.