Trofie with arugula pesto and flash-sautéed cherry tomatoes with garlic scapes

June 22, 2011

Food and Style - Trofie with arugula pesto and flash-sautéed cherry tomatoes with garlic scapes

For years, my fashion career would take me on annual trips to Florence. My husband would tag along and, once business had been taken care of, we’d escape to the hills of Tuscany for a few restorative days. The place we headed for was a remote, enchanting medieval hamlet called Borgo Pretale, now an exquisite hotel.

Before long, Borgo Pretale and the charming people who run the place had become good friends and even part of our “summer” family. One evening, Daniele Rizzardini, the brilliant and endearing manager of the hotel, joined us for dinner on the lavender-lined terrace. On the menu that night were trofie, handmade little pasta squiggles.

Do you know about “sexy pasta”? Daniele said. I looked at him incredulous, wondering if he was pulling my leg. “Let me tell you a story,” he went on. “In the old days, the women of sea villages would get together in the afternoon. They would gather near the port, bringing with them a bowl of pasta dough and a chair, and casually roll trofie while waiting for their husbands to return from their fishing trips. The best part is that they rolled the pasta on the side of their knees… Sexy pasta!”

I thought the story was enchanting. Suddenly my bowl of trofie had acquired a glow and I dove right in. Sexy or not, the pasta was sublime.

A few weeks later, I found myself in my own kitchen, with a beautiful pasta dough I’d just made, trying to roll trofie on the side of my knee and feeling more than a bit ridiculous. It took a few tries for me to figure out that you had to be a fisherman’s wife for this to work.

Nowadays, I’m more inclined to buy my trofie already made, but every time I take a bite of the enticing squiggles, I can’t help but think of Daniele and of the sexy knees of the fishermen’s wives.

Wine pairing: Ravines Wine Cellars, Pinot Noir 2008

Food and Style - Trofie pasta

Trofie with Arugula Pesto and Flash-Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic Scapes

serves 4
active time: 15 min

  1. sea salt for the pasta water (about 1 tablespoon)
  2. 1 lb (455 g) Trofie or Gemelli
  3. 1 recipe Flash-Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic Scapes and Chives
  4. 1 recipe Arugula Pesto
  5. chive tips as garnish

  1. Step 1: Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until tender but still al dente. Drain well.
  2. Step 2: While the pasta is boiling, make the Flash-Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic Scapes and Chives. Set aside.
  3. Step 3: When the pasta is drained, transfer to a large bowl. Spoon the arugula pesto over the pasta and toss well. Spoon pasta in bowls. Garnish with the warm cherry tomatoes and the chive tips. Finish with freshly ground black pepper if desired and serve immediately.

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Handmade trofie
Sold in packs of three.

Here’s another easy to prepare and scrumptious pasta recipe: Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Herbes de Provence, cured olives and fresh goat cheese.

main course, pasta, pesto
© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany June 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

Sexy pasta! Hahaha! I love it!

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Cristina June 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Hi Viviane: I enjoyed your story about the “sexy pasta”. =) I need to find some trofie pasta. Once I try it, I know I will always think about your story.

Beautiful pasta dish and flavors, sprinkled w/a good cheese and glass of wine…perfection! I hope to one day visit Italy…it’s #1 on my list of places I must see in my lifetime {sigh…}.

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Viviane June 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Cristina, I hope you get to realize your dream of going to Italy very soon! Your will adore the food and you will love taking photos. There’s beauty everywhere you look. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the story – to this day it makes me smile! Last but not least, I know you will love trofie when you get a chance to taste it. They are superb!

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EB June 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

What a great visual!

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Meeta June 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

This is my kind of dish – simple but so full of flavor. Love argula pesto! Wonderful!

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lisaiscooking June 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

I doubt I would have much luck rolling pasta on my knee, but I love that that’s how it was done. Now, I’m wishing I’d made arugula pesto this year. I didn’t have as much arugula as usual from my garden, so I skipped it. Sounds delicious with the trofie!

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Viviane June 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

Lisa! Trust me, rolling pasta on the side of your knee is not as easy as it sounds! Hope you get to plant arugula in the fall… Mine has done well this spring, but we had very cool weather.

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Liz June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That is certainly sexy pasta…the trofie is so cute; I’d have to attempt it, too! You did a fabulous job…and so beautiful coated in pesto with those vibrant tomatoes. Lovely dish~

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Tina@flourtrader June 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Makes you wonder who comes up with pasta shapes? These little squiggles are kind of cool-nice change from the standard. That first picture is nothing but awesome-perfect red tomatoes and lovely green pesto. Thanks for sharing.

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El June 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

What a great story. It sounds like you had such memorable experiences there. I’ve never tried trofie but definitely will after seeing the delicious recipe!

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Sandra's Easy Cooking June 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

Viviane this dish looks just wonderful. I love the recipe and I enjoyed reading your story..
Thank you so much for sharing!

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Carnen Brissette Grayson June 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Love your blog which I found via Marc’s Facebook mentions. Have just put together the garlic confit-arugola-grilled cheese gem – though not yet cooked it. Will finish process tonight. I was unsure of the amount of the smushed garlic to spread or if I’ve under- or overdone the fontina. Vediamo.

Re the trofie-arugola-flashy tomatoes: can the pasta be served at room temp or could you mix-match temps bt tomato & pasta? This morning, my Whole Foods didn’t have trofie or scapes (but at least they were apologetic.)

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Angie@Angiesrecipes June 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Rolling trofie with knee…wow..that sounds too cool!
Your pasta dish looks so summery, fresh and delectable.

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Ansh April 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Loved the story and your pasta looks sexy, rolling on knees or not. Sounds like a good date night at home dish.

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Viviane April 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Indeed Ansh! :-)

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Liz April 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Oh, my. What an amazing pasta dish! My parents spent three summers in Cortona…and I visited them once. The food there was spectacular…you’ve brought back such amazing memories. Fabulous post~

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Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Love this post! And this pasta! I love the fun shape!

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2sisters2cities April 24, 2012 at 7:13 am

This recipe looks fantastic! I am actually hosting a garlic scapes linky party at 2sisters2cities.com as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you submitted this recipe!

-m

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