Homemade Trofie al Pesto by Marta | Recipes in the Quarantine






This is my favorite dish from Italy, probably because I can only find it in Italy! It comes from the cliffs of Genova, on the north west of Italy.

This recipe is thanks to Marta. Find all her recipes at martascookingclasses.com

She is an Italian chef and teacher in Sienna, Italy. She knows all the history behind the Italian dishes and is a great food photographer. If you don't follow her on Instagram and love Italian food, give her a follow @martascooking

The story of this dish she shared was that it was invented around the 1800s. The Genovese were being banned from Venice and could not get all the exotic spices from the East. The Venetians controlled the spice trade. So, the people of Genova had to create their own signature dish without spices. They created pesto and all I can say is that they truly made the best of the situation. Pesto is loved the world over, probably because of that umami flavor from the cheese and the smell of basil. Good job Genova!

The classic dish Trofie al Pesto is served with potatoes and green beans, so that's the recipe you will find here. 100% Italian. Linguini is often used in place of Trofie in the authentic dish, too.

For this recipe, I had to make the trofie pasta myself. This is the classic way. But, if you don't have time to make the trofie, use linguini, fusilli or other curly pasta and skip the first part of the recipe. The homemade pasta takes a bit of patience and practice. So if you want dinner tonight, start early!

Trofie Pasta (for 2 ppl):

  • 200g (1 ⅔ cups) flour
  • 100g (1/2 cup) water 
  • Knitting needle or skewer

Pesto (for 2 ppl):

  • ½ garlic clove
  • Pinch of coarse salt 
  • 25 g (about 1 cup) fresh basil, packed
  • 15 g (about 1 Tbsp.) pecorino*
  • 35 g (about ¼ cup) parmesan
  • 50 g (about ⅓ cup) olive oil
  • 10 g (1 Tbsp) pine nuts

*if you don't have pecorino, just use Parmesan and the result will be great. 

To serve with Trofie if desired (for 2 ppl):

  • 100g (3/4 cup) green beans, halved
  • 125 g (about ¾ cup) potatoes, cubed 

Directions: 

1. To make the trofie. Combine flour and most of the water. Add enough water until you can form a ball after 5 minutes of kneading. Form the dough into a ball, and then cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 15 minutes, or you can put it in the fridge overnight. 

After 15 minutes, tear off a little piece of dough and roll it into a long, thin rope, about 1/4" thickness. Then, cut into 1" or 2 cm pieces and roll on a skewer. Watch the video on my Instagram channel here or message me directly so I can send it to you. 

Dust rolled trofie with some flour or semolina on a baking tray. Do not put them on top of each other. You can let them dry a few hours out and then store them in a plastic bag. Or better, just cook them. 


2. Make the pesto.  In a small food processor or immersion blender cup, place the garlic, salt, half of the basil, cheeses, pine nuts and some of the olive oil. 

**Marta's secret tip: put the blade in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will ensure the basil will not loose its flavor and color when processed** 

Blend a little, pulsing. You don't want to over process because texture is good. Then, add the remaining basil and olive oil and process a bit more until coarsely ground. Set aside in a bowl or cup. Drizzle a little olive oil on top to preserve the color and freshness. Sealed tightly in the fridge, pesto should last about a week. 



3. Cook potatoes and green beans. Chop potatoes and green beans in small pieces like in the picture below. Then, bring a big pot of water to the boil. (you will also cook the pasta in there so make sure its large enough) 

After it boils, add generous amount of salt, like 1 Tbsp or 2 Tbsp. Then, add in the potatoes and green beans. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are still firm but can be eaten. Now, you add the pasta to the water with the potato and green beans and cook everything until the pasta is done. The best way is just to taste it. 



4. Putting it all together. When the pasta is cooked, strain everything. Then, put it back into the pot and mix in ALL the pesto. Toss well and serve immediately. I served mine with breadcrumbs but the classic way would be toasted pine nuts or more parmesan cheese. 

Another thanks to @martascooking for the recipe!




amount for 2 people

mix with pesto




















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Can you believe this beautiful pasta is made with just flour, water and a knitting needle? Its name: Trofie (trough-fe-Eh) Italians have mastered the art of turning humble ingredients into food art. Marta @martascooking taught me this very unique pasta shape today- one that is not found easily but my all time favorite. From the Italian region of Liguria- it is always mixed with pesto and sometimes also green beans and potatoes. . Marta is an amazing Italian chef who shared the history of this dish, and shared a very helpful tip for making pesto- freezing the blade as to not heat the basil and ruin its delicate taste and color. Thank you! . If you like this video, check out the whole process on Marta’s Live video and give her a follow! @martascooking You can also message her directly for the recipe. Thank you for all who joined. . I’ll post the video soon on YouTube if you can’t catch it now! . #trofie #pesto #liguria #authenticitalian #pasta #pastaporn #foodart #vegano #veganpasta #cinqueterre #italianchef #simplecookingcookingshow #homemadepasta #quarantine #quarantineandcook
A post shared by Chef Joanna’s Kitchen (@chefjoannas) on

View this post on Instagram

Can you believe this beautiful pasta is made with just flour, water and a knitting needle? Its name: Trofie (trough-fe-Eh) Italians have mastered the art of turning humble ingredients into food art. 🇮🇹 Marta @martascooking taught me this very unique pasta shape today- one that is not found easily but my all time favorite. From the Italian region of Liguria- it is always mixed with pesto and sometimes also green beans and potatoes. . Marta is an amazing Italian chef who shared the history of this dish, and shared a very helpful tip for making pesto- freezing the blade as to not heat the basil and ruin its delicate taste and color. Thank you! . If you like this video, check out the whole process on Marta’s Live video and give her a follow! @martascooking You can also message her directly for the recipe. Thank you for all who joined. . I’ll post the video soon on YouTube if you can’t catch it now! . #trofie #pesto #liguria #authenticitalian #pasta #pastaporn #foodart #vegano #veganpasta #cinqueterre #italianchef #simplecookingcookingshow
A post shared by Chef Joanna’s Kitchen (@chefjoannas) on

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