Trofie with Pesto alla Genovese Recipe


course sea salt

1-3/4 cups packed fresh bail leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cloves hard-neck garlic

1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo or Romano cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup trofie pasta

freshly ground black pepper


Trofie with Pesto alla Genovese Recipe

Pesto and Torfie - a classic Genovese combination. This one is adapted from the La Cucina Italiana Magazine (September/October 2010). They say that the mortar and pestle are the key to making genuine Ligurian pesto. But, since I don't own a good mortar and pestle, the food processor will work in a pinch.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Gently wash basil in cold water. Drain basil, and gently dry with paper towels. Put about 1/4 of the basil in a mortar. Using the pestle with a rotary movement, grind the basil against the wall of the mortar until mostly ground. Repeat in batches with the remaining basil until all leaves are ground.

3. Working with 1 tablespoon at a time, place ground basil in mortar, and add and grind pine nuts, then add garlic and generous pinches of salt. Grind until garlic is completely ground.

4. Working with 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, add and grind the cheeses.

5. Working with 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, drizzle in olive oil, grinding and mixing to incorporate as you go, until pesto is combined and smooth.

6. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return pasta to the pot and immediately add pesto and 3 tablespoons of pasta cooking water. Toss to combine. Moisten with more cooking water, if desired. Divide among serving bowls and season with pepper. Serve immediately.