This must be one of the easiest pasta recipes to make. It is a simplified version of a traditional Italian recipe. For the traditional Trofie Pasta all Genovese a mortar and pestle was used, or something similar. For the modern Trofie Pasta Genovese, we use a blender to make the pesto or we simply buy pesto.
I went the easy route this time, without compromising flavor and quality; I used a high quality store-bought pesto. There are enough excellent quality pestos available, so if you I don’t have the time, I do not apologize for using a store-bought pesto. It saves you a lot of cooking and cleaning time.
Obviously you can make this recipe with any type of pasta you like; I opted for the Trofie pasta as the combination with the pesto is very traditional for the Liguria region in Italy; the region of Genoa, hence the name of the dish Genovese.
Trofie pasta is a cute small pasta, small rolls of twisted dough and the pesto enjoys the little ridges and settles in them. I heard chefs say that a pasta and the sauce should be a good marriage. They should fit together, compliment each other. Trofie would not be the ideal candidate for very chunky vegetables, but smooth sauce is a perfect match.
As far as I understand, the true traditional version of the Trofie alla Genevese or Trofie al Pesto is prepared with boiled potatoes, thin young green beans and pesto. With or without some additional cheese. As you can see from my recipe, I used the pasta and the pesto only. I used pesto made with pecorino cheese; this gives a nice sharp edge to the pesto. That particular pesto is also rich in garlic which adds to the flavor. To finalize the dish I sprinkled roasted pine nuts over the pasta for the necessary texture and flavor.
How much pesto you add is really your choice. I prefer a modest amount as I don’t want to eat pesto with pasta, but pasta with pesto 🙂
Trofie Pasta Genovese
- 4 ounces trofie pasta
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- salt and pepper
- Place pine nuts on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven and warm oven to 350 degrees F. Bake nuts until golden brown. This will take about as much time it will take the oven to reach 350 degrees. Cool nuts and turn off oven.
- Cook the pasta al dente, according to the directions on the packaging.
- Drain the pasta and keep some of the pasta water for later use.
- Return pasta to pan and add pesto. Warm just a little and add cooking water if needed.
- Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer pasta to 2 plates, sprinkle with pine nuts and some basil leaves.