Trofie al pesto, the essence of Liguria :)

Well, I believe that trofia is a real symbol of Liguria. It is a tasty, short, thin, twisted pasta that you should absolutely try when you are in Liguria.


The origin of this pasta name is not certain. It is believed to come from a Ligurian verb strufuggiâ that means to rub. It was referred to the method of its preparation, which consisted of rubbing or rolling a small piece of dough on the pastry board.


Trofie seems to have their origins in Golfo Paradiso, in the eastern Liguria. It was prepared especially in Recco, Sori and Camogli. Until the mid-20’th century trofie weren’t so common in Genoa or in the western Liguria. However, after that period they became one of the most typical dishes in the whole region.


Trofie are shaped by rolling small pieces of dough on a flat surface to form a short, round length of pasta with tapered ends, then twisting it to form the final shape. They are about  2–3 cm long with a diameter of roughly 4 mm. The average cooking time is about 5 minutes. The most common way to serve trofie is to prepare them with a pesto sauce.


It seems that the way of preparing trofie was invented on boards of galleons that navigate for Crusades. The cooks of that ships were preparing many dishes made with flour and water. After preparations, they had their hands covered by the excess of dough and they cleaned them by rubbing they fingers. Thanks to that move the excess of dough formed a new form of pasta … It is said that trofie were created in that way.

Where to find them?

Everywhere! In every restaurant (it is a most popular, traditional, Ligurian dish), in every supermarket (ready to cook) and also in pasta fresca shops (the shops that sell all types of fresh pasta). They cost about 7€/kg and you need about 200/250 g per person.


  • 350 g of flour
  • salt
  • water

A preparation of trofie dough is very simple. You have to mix together flour, water and a little bit of salt. Then you have to knead the dough that has to become smooth and consistent. After that, you have to tear off very small pieces of the dough and start rolling them till they become thin, round with tapered ends. And voilà! Your trofie are ready. Then it is enough to prepare pesto and your excellent, Ligurian dinner can be served.

Buon Appetito!

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