Trofie with Pesto alla Genovese


Trofie with Pesto alla Genovese

A cornerstone of Liguriancuisine, Trofie al pesto Genovese is a prime example that, with most Italiancooking, simplicity at the table always wins. The best pesto I ever had was inSanta Margarita Ligure, in Northwest Italy, about 35 kilometers south of Genoa.In my opinion, having pesto without using a Trofie cut of pasta is like havinga martini in a rocks glass.  You can do it, but why would you? It would bedelicious, but why not have this ideal cut of pasta originating in itsbirthplace. It is believed that the women there would sit together in chairsalong the coast and twist the pasta dough while waiting for their husbands toreturn from fishing excursions. Pesto is such a simple and uncooked recipeusing 7 ingredients.  It is ideal for a weeknight pasta meal, makes adelicious base sauce for a pizza, as a spread on sandwiches, and even as anaddition to savory waffles.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 1 pound of trofie (ortrenette) pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • 2 cups of rinsed fresh basil leaves, packed – the small leaves are the most flavorful
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, extra if desired for serving 
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, extra if desired for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup of pignoli nuts,extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil


  • In a food processor or blender, pulse thebasil and pine nuts until finely chopped.
  • Add the garlic and both cheeses, and continue pulsing, stopping a couple of times to scrape the sides of the blender or food processor canister with a rubber spatula for the remnants.
  • While the food processor orblender is running, stream in the olive oil gingerly in a small stream. Thiswill help it emulsify and prevent the oil from separating.  Stop blendinga few times to continue scraping the remnants from the sides with the spatula.
  • Stir in the salt andpepper, add more to taste.
  • Bring a salted pot of waterto rapid boil and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions,about 8-10 minutes.  Toss the pesto with the steaming, strainedpasta.  Add 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil for more even coating ofthe sauce.
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