Trofie pasta Portofino-style

Trofie Portofino-style is, so to speak, a cousin of the more usual trofie with pesto sauce. It seems that many years ago, a Genoese restaurateur found himself having to feed a large party of diners who all wanted to try the famous pesto sauce. Not having enough for everyone, the restaurateur decided to eke out the pesto with a few extra tablespoons of tomato sauce. Everyone really enjoyed the result and the Portofino-style pasta sauce was born.


  • short pasta 200 grams
  • garlic 1 clove
  • oil 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • tomato passata 200 millilitres
  • genovese pesto 2 large tablespoons of pesto all genovese

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10 minutes Total time
5 minutes Active time
Serves 2 persons
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Gently fry a clove of garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil until the oil has nicely absorbed the garlicky flavour. Add the tomato passata, home-made if possible: You could use some made the previous summer if it is winter-time now, or you could make some fresh, cooking and then straining a handful of ripe tomatoes. Cook the passata a little more and then adjust for salt. Now it's time to add the pesto: you can either use a ready-made jar of pesto alla genovese - we used an organic brand - or, if it's the right time of year, you could make the pesto from scratch. Mix the pesto with the passata sauce. Cook the trofie pasta in salted boiling water, drain, mix with the sauce and serve.

If it's not the right time of year for fresh basil and you therefore need to buy a jar of ready-made sauce instead, make sure you use an organic brand - you will have both an improved flavour and a healthier meal!
The Ligurian village of Portofino was also the location for some episodes of the popular American soap opera 'Beautiful'.

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