A couple of weeks ago we spoke about the recipe for the Ligurian Pesto sauce. Well, Pesto is used in many ways, but for sure it was created to go hand in hand with the pasta called Trofie, also typical of Liguria. This is a hand rolled pasta, so easy to make that it can be a great and fun family project. The name of the pasta derives from a verb in the Genovese dialect that means “to rub”, from the movement that you have to make to obtain its shape: rubbing the dough against a wooden table or between your palms.

As with many other Italian pasta types that require an incredible amount of love and dedication, the Trofie were traditionally made by the women of the family, who would get together around a large table and make the pasta while chatting away all afternoon. Of course, the invention of a machine to make this shape of pasta made everything easier (and scrapped the therapeutic collective process), but surprisingly the mechanical production of Trofie started only in 1977, by Pastificio Novella. To tell you the truth I do not remember eating Trofie in Rome as a kid; the first time I saw them was during a vacation in Liguria, just around that period.

The ingredients to make Trofie are only three: semola (which is the result of the grinding of hard wheat), water, and salt. It is important to use this kind of flour, as it is coarser and has a more rustic taste and texture than regular flour. Semola can be purchased in any Italian food store or on the internet, and it is very different from any other flour. It is made from the hard wheat; it is grinded twice “rimacinata” and has a fine texture. The color is more yellowish than the baking flour. Careful though, as it cannot be substituted with “semolina”, which is a much coarser grinding of the durum wheat.

This recipe is a poorer version of egg noodles. Once more the economic need to make something appetizing with very little ingredients gave birth to one of the most scrumptious dishes.

The pasta is of course high in carbs; but with the help of this amazing, healthy sauce and a generous serving of Extra Virgin Olive oil, it becomes an acceptable trade-off, that will soothe the mind and resource the spirit.


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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)