Tag: Liguria

Homemade Trofie like in Liguria: let's learn the recipe – Italian Cuisine

It is the best known and most appreciated Ligurian pasta. Let's learn how to make it with our hands: three ingredients and a little manual skills are enough

It is one of the most famous dishes of all Liguria, although its origin dates back to a small village on the east coast of Genoa, Sori: le trofie they are a must try for anyone who loves pesto and fresh pasta. And like any type of fresh pasta, they can also be prepared at home. Do you want to try?

An ancient pasta

Trofie are a pasta that Ligurian women have always made at home, thanks to the fact that only three ingredients are needed to prepare them: water, semolina and salt. Once, their particular and elongated shape was obtained with a wooden knitting needle, along which a small piece of dough was rolled up and then crushed with the palm of the hand. Now the production is mostly industrial, with special machinery. Trying to make them at home gives, as always, a very special taste.


Semolina, not flour

The recipe for hand made trofie involves the use of semolina and not flour. But what is the difference between the two? And how do they recognize each other? The flour is the result of the grinding of soft wheat, while the semolina comes from the grinding of durum wheat. The first has a more rounded shape and a more crumbly consistency, while durum wheat has a more elongated shape and is, in fact, harder. The flours deriving from these two grains also show some differences: the first has a whiter color and is softer to the touch, the second instead has a more yellow color and is more grainy.

The recipe for homemade trofie

For 6 people: arrange 400 g of semolina on a fountain table, add a pinch of salt and as much water as you need to have a homogeneous and elastic mixture. Add it little by little. Then work the dough for ten minutes and then let it rest out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, covered with a cloth. Then detach some pieces the size of a marble and with the palm of your hand roll the pieces of dough on the pastry board, obtaining twisted dumplings, with the thinner ends of the central part. Throw them in a pot with boiling water and salt and let them cook for 4 minutes and then drain them, keeping a little cooking water, which you will need to dilute the pesto.

Here are our recipes with trofie

Priests and friars eat each other in Liguria. Here is the recipe – Italian Cuisine

Priests and friars eat each other in Liguria. Here is the recipe

One of the dishes that most tells about winter in Liguria, prepared in the traditional way by Mrs. Aghi

Well yes, you read that right. Priests and friars eat each other in Liguria. And in some cases, even i cardinals. In fact, they are called rolls typical of the Ligurian winter, although in reality, given the long preparation, they are found less and less both around and in homes. And it is appropriate to say: what a pity!

What are the priests

Like all traditional recipes, also in this case the preparation of the priests changes from one country to another, but also from one house to another in the same neighborhood. Basically these are rolls that are made mainly in winter, with the arrival of the first cold, because winter is its main ingredient, that is, cabbage, strictly curly. Then there are various theories about the filling. Almost everyone agrees on boiled potatoes, eggs, stale bread soaked in milk and cheese. However, there are those who also add other ingredients such as chard, ham or mortadella, but only if available. Recall that Ligurian cuisine is a poor and reclaimed cuisine, which uses everything it can and is there, both in the cultivated lands and in the recipes prepared. But what is never missing is there marjoram, the quintessence of flavors in Liguria. And even on this, there are no opposites. Finally, the rolls, once closed with the string, as tradition dictates, they are cooked for a long time in tomato sauce. See, these are what are called priests, previ, or friars, even if the reason for this name is not yet known: some argue that it is due to the shape of the rolls, which recalls that of clerical hats; others because the priests apparently liked them a lot. There is also another similar dish, which they prepare only at the restaurant (and laboratory in Stroscia) La Colombiera in Pietrabruna: it is cardinal, a stuffed cabbage with the same ingredients as the priests; or, at least, so did the owner Barbara's grandmother. There are also those who make priests in broth, like at the Locanda del Cavaliere in San Bartolomeo del Mare. But we have decided to rely on a classic version, like that of Agnes Nagy, for all Needles.

Who is Aghi

Aghi is a special woman, one of those who meet few in life. Of Hungarian origin, she has lived for years in San Bartolomeo with her partner Flavio Roggerone and together they dedicate body and soul to life in the countryside: they grow artichokes, courgettes, tomatoes, turnips, broccoli, green beans and many other vegetables which they then sell in the village. Many knock on their door, because they are certain to find only the best of the season, cultivated as it should, as well as courtesy, hospitality and a smile always on the face. In short, rare things. Then Aghi learned to cook all the traditional Ligurian dishes from his mother-in-law Giovanna Rota, Flavio's mother, who passed away a few years ago. It is thanks to her, in fact, that some of the pillars of the family's Ligurian cuisine have not been lost, but rather have found new life. According to Flavio and his brother Stefano, they are exactly "like their mother made them". And they are strong words, you know it is rare. Among these there are also the priests, a dish that also for them tends to do less and less due to the long preparation times. But it is also true that they are of a rare goodness, so it is really worth it. Furthermore, the Roggerones confirm that even their mother Giovanna always prepared them in a different way, depending on what was available. "If there was mortadella or ham, you would put it on, otherwise you wouldn't have it". So no fear in the case of vegetarians you can proceed with an equally satisfying version without meat.

The recipe of the priests of Needles

As anticipated, it is a dish that takes time, so go ahead at least 2-3 hours in advance. The indicated doses are for about 30 rolls, but it depends on the size of the priests and the quantity that each one will eat (usually always more than expected).


1 curly cabbage
2 potatoes
1 bunch of Swiss chard
100 g parmesan
3 eggs
1 clove of garlic
1 can of tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
ham or mortadella (optional)
to taste marjoram
parsley to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste
to taste bay leaf


1. Simmer the tomato sauce.
2. Boil the potatoes and mash them.
3. Boil the cabbage and separate the innermost leaves (which will go with the other ingredients for the filling) from the outermost ones (which you will need for the rolls), well cleaned of the hardest parts, if any.
4. Boil the beets and chop them.
5. Soak the stale bread in milk.
6. Mix together all the ingredients for the filling, ie potatoes, innermost leaves of the cabbage, beets, bread, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan and, if available, mortadella or chopped ham.
7. Season the filling with salt, pepper, parsley, marjoram, bay leaf and a clove of crushed garlic.
8. Start preparing the rolls, placing a ball of filling in the center of the cabbage leaves (the outer ones); if there are some hard parts, remember to remove them, otherwise it could be difficult to close.
9. Roll up the rolls, folding the leaves on the sides to close them. Then tie them with the string in four, forming small bags.
10. Once all the priests have been prepared, put them to cook for about an hour and a half in the tomato sauce.

If you have any filling left over, Aghi tells us, you can prepare meatballs to be fried in a pan with a little oil. In short, another great classic of reclaimed cuisine!

Finally, you know that in Hungary there is a very similar dish called töltött káposzta? They are always cabbage rolls, stuffed with rice, minced meat, eggs, onion and, of course, paprika, an omnipresent ingredient in Hungarian cuisine. Try to prepare both versions, so you will feel a little like having the pleasure of being at Roggerone's home!

Easter cake recipe from Liguria – Italian Cuisine

Easter cake recipe from Liguria

  • 1 kg flour
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 kg chard
  • 400 g ricotta
  • 110 g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Dop
  • 8 pcs small eggs
  • 1 pc onion
  • 1 pc clove of garlic
  • marjoram
  • flour
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • bread crumbs
  • salt
  • pepper

For the recipe for the Easter cake from Liguria, dissolve a nice pinch of salt in 600-650 g of warm water. Knead the flour with warm water and 2 tablespoons of oil, working the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Divide it into 18 loaves: 8 of 120 g each and 10 of 70 g each. Cover them and let them rest for 1 hour.
FOR THE FILLING: Clean the beets, cut them into small pieces and cook them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic crushed with the peel, the chopped onion and a couple of spoons of water for about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic, salt them, squeeze them very well and chop them. Mix them with 2 eggs, 80 g of grated Parmesan and chopped leaves of 2 marjoram sprigs. Mix the ricotta with 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of oil and 20 g of grated Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
FOR THE COMPOSITION: Grease the work surface and roll out a 120 g stick with a rolling pin, obtaining a sheet of mm thick; grease it on the surface and cover it with a cake pan overflowing the dough by a few centimeters. Repeat the operation by overlapping the other 7 loaves of 120 g, spread out in sheets.
Sprinkle the surface of the last sheet of pasta with a little breadcrumbs and spread over the filling
of chard, then the seasoned ricotta. Form 6 hollows in the ricotta layer with the bottom of a spoon and lay the eggs gently peeling them; remove a little egg white if it overflows. Spread 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan over ricotta and eggs. Roll out the smaller dough loaves, as you did for the large ones; place them gradually on the cake, making the pasta spill over and blowing a little air between one layer and another. Cut out the pasta, keeping a border of 2-3 cm; roll it on itself, to close the cake. Oil the surface of the cake and bake it at 180 ° C for about 1 hour. Serve it at room temperature.

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