Easy Trofie al Pesto Recipe: A Delicious Taste of Italy 2024

Trofie al Pesto is a classic Italian dish originating from Liguria, known for its flavorful basil pesto sauce mixed with twisted pasta called trofie. Pronounced as “troh-fee-eh al peh-stoh,” Trofie pasta is short, thin, and twisted, perfect for holding the creamy pesto sauce. Pesto, a sauce made of fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, is the star of this dish. Trofie al Pesto boasts a delightful balance of flavors. The basil lends a refreshing herbal note, complemented by the nuttiness of the pine nuts and the richness of Parmesan cheese. The garlic adds a subtle kick, while the olive oil ties everything together for a creamy and aromatic pasta experience.

Easy Trofie al Pesto Recipe
Easy Trofie al Pesto Recipe

Trofie al Pesto Recipe


  • 12 ounces (340g) trofie pasta
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt, to taste

Making Trofie Pasta:

Making Trofie Pasta
Making Trofie Pasta
  • Cook the Trofie Pasta:
    • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water.
    • Add the trofie pasta to the boiling water and stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches an “al dente” texture, meaning it’s cooked but still slightly firm. This usually takes about 10-12 minutes.
    • Once the pasta is cooked, carefully drain it in a colander. Keep aside a small amount of the pasta cooking water (around 1/4 cup) to adjust the consistency of the pesto later, if needed.
  • Prepare the Pesto Sauce:
    • Rinse the fresh basil leaves thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel.
    • In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, peeled garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt.
    • Pulse the ingredients a few times to start breaking them down. Then, while the processor is running, gradually pour in the extra-virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Continue blending until the mixture becomes a smooth and creamy pesto sauce. You might need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl to ensure everything is well combined.
  • Combine Pasta and Pesto:
    • Transfer the drained trofie pasta to a large mixing bowl.
    • Add the freshly prepared pesto sauce to the pasta in the mixing bowl.
    • Gently toss the pasta and pesto together until the pasta is evenly coated with the delicious sauce. If the pesto seems too thick, gradually add a small amount of the reserved pasta cooking water and toss again until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once the trofie pasta is coated in the pesto sauce, it’s ready to serve!
    • Plate the Trofie al Pesto into individual dishes or a large serving bowl.
    • Optionally, garnish with a few extra basil leaves or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
  • Storage:
    • Store any leftover trofie al pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or olive oil to refresh the flavors.

Additional Tips:

  1. For extra flavor, lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat before adding them to the pesto.
  2. Adjust the salt and cheese quantities according to your taste preferences.
  3. Customize your Trofie al Pesto by adding grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or cherry tomatoes for more variety.

Yield, Prep Time and Calories

  • Yield: This recipe typically serves about 4 people.
  • Prep Time: Total preparation time for this recipe is approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Calories: The calorie count for a serving of Trofie al Pesto can vary based on portion sizes and specific ingredient brands used. However, a typical serving (approximately 1 cup) might contain around 400-500 calories.
YieldPrep TimeCalories (Approx.)
Serves about 425-30 minutes400-500 per serving
Yield, Prep Time and Calories

What to Serve with Trofie al Pesto

What to Serve with Trofie al Pesto
What to Serve with Trofie al Pesto
  1. Garlic Bread: Slice a baguette or Italian bread, spread some garlic butter, sprinkle with parsley and bake until golden for a flavorful side.
  2. Fresh Salad: Prepare a simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a balsamic vinaigrette to complement the richness of the pasta.
  3. Grilled Vegetables: Fire up the grill and cook some colorful vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant for a healthy and flavorful side dish.
  4. Antipasto Platter: Arrange an assortment of Italian cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables for a delightful starter or side.
  5. Bruschetta: Top slices of toasted bread with a mix of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt—a refreshing accompaniment to the pasta.
  6. Wine Pairing: A glass of crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc complements the flavors of Trofie al Pesto perfectly.

Enjoy preparing and savoring this delightful Trofie al Pesto, bringing the taste of Italy to your dining table!

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What is trofie pasta, and where can I find it?

Trofie pasta is a short, thin, twisted pasta originating from Liguria, Italy. It’s commonly made from durum wheat semolina. You can usually find it in the pasta section of well-stocked grocery stores or specialty Italian markets. Alternatively, you can use other short pasta shapes like fusilli or gemelli as substitutes.

Can I make the pesto sauce ahead of time?

Yes, absolutely! You can prepare the pesto sauce in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation and retain its vibrant green color.

How do I store leftover Trofie al Pesto?

Place any leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, you can gently warm it in a pan on the stove over low heat or microwave it, adding a splash of water or olive oil to refresh the flavors.

Can I freeze Trofie al Pesto?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze Trofie al Pesto for later consumption. However, freezing may alter the texture and flavor slightly. Store it in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for up to 1-2 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What are some variations or additions I can make to this dish?

You can personalize your Trofie al Pesto by adding ingredients like cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, shrimp, roasted vegetables (such as cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or bell peppers), or even a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. These additions can enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

Can I make a vegan version of Trofie al Pesto?

Absolutely! For a vegan option, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan alternative. You can also substitute nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor in the pesto. Ensure other ingredients used are vegan-friendly, and you’ll have a delicious vegan Trofie al Pesto.

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