Trofie Al Pesto

Serves 6

Trofie is a simple rolled flour and water pasta widely seen in the Lingurian cuisine. It’s like Linguaria’s version of Gnocchi. It’s a hand rolled pasta typically served with pesto and because of the extreme labor intensity is generally served in small portions. Trofie is not widely available outside of Italy and is relatively simple to make with just time being the main component. The dish is often served with boiled potatoes and green beans and you will find very few variations to this regions dish. Never fear the beauty of this dish is that the trophies are supposed to look rustic and so don’t sweat too much if yours are not perfect, the key is long thin tubular strips with a little corkscrew shape to them, cooked always aldente!


3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 cup potatoes, boiled and chopped fine
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut
Parmesan cheese, finely grated


Place the flour down on a flat surface and sprinkle in the salt. Make a well or a volcano shape and pour the water in the center. Using your fingers begin to mix the flour in, making sure to keep the water in the center. Mix until the dough is together, the dough should feel tacky and slightly damp. Knead the dough a few minutes until your fingers can move across it without sticking. Then clean the work surface and re-knead the dough for another 5-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic; super smooth! Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and let stand to rest, refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

Shaping the trofie

Get a large baking sheet line with parchment paper and sprinkle with semolina flour. Prepare a clean work surface as well and sprinkle with regular flour. Keep the dough covered in the plastic at all times when not using it. Divide the dough into about 4-6 small balls. Take each ball and roll it out using two hangs into a thick rope about 13 inch thick. Cut that rope into ¼ inch pieces. With each ¼ inch piece, roll it into a longer thinner rope. With each longer thinner rope place it down on the table and roll it into a 2-3 inch long thin strip. Using the back side of your hand and pinky finger (if your thumb is facing straight up and the back of your pinky touching the table) roll in an upside down V shape, starting with the right side roll up starting with the right side of the pasta strip and moving into the center as you roll up to the bottom part of your hand, slowly without lifting the hand, change the position of your hand to start to roll back down through the left side of the pasta strip rolling the pasta as your hand rolls down to the top of your pinky touching the pasta. Repeat this process with all the dough and until you have enough to make a batch.

Cooking the dish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place in green beans. Cook for one minute and then slowly add the Trofie. When the Trofie begins to float, about 3 minutes they are done, toss in the cooked potatoes and take off heat. Take out all the goods using a large slotted spoon and place in a large serving bowl. Add a little of the pasta water and spoon in some pesto. (About 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of pasta, 2 for those who like it bold). Mix together the pasta and the pesto until a smooth silky sauce is rolling around the Trofie. Serve with finely grated parmesan.