And here we are for the second installment of my pasta series. This time I moved to Liguria and I made trofie. Trofie are typically served with the staple of every Ligurian home: pesto.
Trofie are easy to shape and little ones could lend a hand in the shaping process if they like it. All you really have to do is roll the dough between your fingers. But trofie are also relatively hard to cook. Meaning if they dry out too long they take forever to cook. So my advice is to make them as thin as you can and to not let them sit forever before cooking. A couple of hours should be more of enough drying time.
Place the semolina on a table and create a large well in the middle of the semolina flour. Pour the warm water in the well and quickly mix in the flour. The dough will rapidly come together in a smooth and relatively tough mass. Knead the dough until all the flour has been incorporated and the dough looks smooth. Place the dough under a bowl for 10 minutes or so to rest so that the gluten can relax.
While the dough is resting set up your work station. Place a large wooden board on the table, get a table knife and get a couple of cookies cooling rack that you will use for drying the pasta. If you don't have the cooling racks, you can use a couple of kitchen towels.
Get a small portion, about 1/10th, of the dough and roll it into a long narrow roll, about as thick as a finger. keep the rest of the dough under the bowl. Now you are ready to start shaping the trofie.
With a knife cut a small pea sized piece of dough. Roll the pasta dough between your hands and then on the surface of the wooden board to get a thin log of pasta with gooves and thin ends as the ones in the picture. See the video below, is much easier done than said.
Place the shaped trofie to dry on a cooling rack or on a kitchen towel for about 2 hour. Don't let dry too long or you will have to cook the pasta forever.
The traditional way of preparing trofie is with pesto. Blend a big bunch of basil with parmesan, pine nuts and a very small garlic glove. Keep blending and add enough oil to get a smooth paste. Add salt to taste.
Cook the trofie in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. If you want to make this pasta dish more substantial, you can boil the pasta with diced potatoes and green beans. After draining add the pesto, using some of the pasta water to thin it out.