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Trofie are Ligurian gnocchi made with flour, water and a little bran; they're made between Camogli and Bogliasco, and are a specialty of Recco. They're hand made, with pointy ends, and Alessandro Molinari Prdelli notes, in La Cucina Ligure, that Ligurians don't use the back of a cheese grater or the tines of a fork to shape gnocchi with hollow fronts and decorated backs, but wrap the bleb of pasta around a finger so as to obtain a small tortiglione with pointy ends. To serve 6:

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 4 cups (480 g) flour
  • An ounce (25 g) bran
  • Warm water
  • A pinch of salt.


Combine the flour and bran on your work surface, salt lightly, and add just a little water. Not too much, because the dough should be smooth and quite firm. Knead it thoroughly, then break off bits about the size of chickpeas, and roll them under your index and middle fingers to obtain little spirals shaped like cork screws. Those less expert, he suggests, should wrap the pasta around a knitting needle or a wooden skewer.

Let the trofie dry on a floured work surface, boil them in abundant salted water, until they rise to the surface, drain them, and serve them with lots of pesto sauce.

As variations, you can add a handful of boiled beans to the trofie after draining them, or season them with walnut or meat sauce. As a final variation, boil 6 ounces (150 g) each potatoes and string beans, dice them while the trofie are cooking, and combine everything, with a healthy dollop of pesto sauce.

Trofie di Camogli are somewhat different. To serve 6 you'll need:

  • 3 cups (300 g) flour
  • 12 ounces (300 g) potatoes
  • An egg
  • Salt
Boil or steam the potatoes until done, peel them, and put them through a potato rice. Combine the pureed potatoes thus obtained with the flour and the egg, and work the mixture to obtain a firm dough. Prepare them as above and cook them, removing them from the boiling water with a strainer as they rise to the surface. Season with pesto sauce, meat sauce, or grated Parmigiano and unsalted butter, and serve.

Another couple of variations:

1) With chestnut flour.
Begin with 2 cups wheat flour and 3 cups chestnut flour, which should be fresh and smell chestnuty sweet
A live-yeast cake (from the super market) the size of a walnut, dissolved in a little warm water.

2) With Bread Dough
Begin with 5 cups (500 g) flour
2 ounces (50 g) live-yeast cake (baker's yeast), dissolved in a little warm water.

Combine the ingredients, kneading the dough well, and let it rest in a bowl, covered by a cloth -- the chestnut flour trofie dough for about an hour, and the bread dough trofie dough for several hours, in a warm place. In either case, make your trofie, boil them, and serve with pesto sauce, walnut sauce (the chestnut trofie), or agliata.

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