What Is Trofie Pasta and What’s the Best Sauce for This Cool, Trendy Noodle?

Pasta is a seemingly endless world of variety. Every time I think I’ve heard of every type of noodle there is, three more enter my view. I say keep ‘em coming! Today we’re talking about an Italian noodle that may be new to some, but a stone cold classic to others: trofie pasta! Tuck that napkin (or tablecloth if you don’t mind being a bit uncouth) into your collar and let’s dig in.

What is trofie pasta?

Honestly, great question, especially considering how this is an article explicitly regarding what trofie pasta is. Well, trofie pasta is short thin twisted pasta noodle from northern Italy, traditionally made with wheat flour and often potato. A staple of modern Ligurian cuisine, trofie noodles are thin, but dense, resulting in a pleasant chewy texture. The name derives from the Genoese dialect word strufuggia, meaning to rub, which is what you need to do to the dough to create the classic twisted shape. If you don’t want to make it yourself, however, you can buy it from your local grocery store (Trader Joe’s just started selling it), and save yourself the wrist workout!

What is the trofie pasta shape?

Trofie is shaped by rolling a small piece of dough on a flat surface to form a short, ovular length of pasta with tapered ends, then twisting it to form the final shape, about an inch in length. When sauceless, it vaguely resembles a crunchy Cheeto sans yellow cheese flavor dust (a “nude Cheeto,” if you will). That’s why sauce is so very important, we need to keep the imagery of a fleshy corn curl snack out of people’s imaginations. 

What is the best sauce for trofie pasta?

Trofie is great with any number of sauces over it, but it is most typically served with pesto sauce. This is because the trofie’s uniquely twisted shape allows the pesto to stick to its nooks and crannies for an extremely effective and flavorful punch, bite after bite. It is traditionally served along with potatoes and green beans, which are often boiled in the same water as the pasta, with pesto added right before serving. Trofie can also be eaten with tomato based sauces, creamy sauces, seafood, and various vegetarian sauces. Really, you can toss it with practically every sauce but chocolate, when you really get down to it! 

While trofie may not have the status of say, a spaghetti or a ziti, it’s a perfectly wonderful pasta in its own right that can be enjoyed again and again. In fact, I’d say the one thing it has going against it is the noodle length. If only for the reason that it’s just a bit too short to do that classic “Lady and the Tramp eating the noodle from both ends” thing. Other than that, though? Golden!

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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