Trofie Pasta With Pesto And Pork

Trofie pesto-pasta dish with pork and peas

It's not often we find ourselves with leftover roast pork, but because it tends to dry out, we like to shred it and toss it with some pesto to give it a new lease of life.

Here we're pairing pork and peas with trofie, one of our all-time favourite pasta shapes. Colloquially called strofie, this thin, twisted shape can be traced to the tiny town of Testana in the Metropolitan City of Genoa, although it's now mostly associated with the coastal town of Recco.

According to local legend, a woman created this quirky shape by accident when she added too much water to her dough, causing it to stick to her hands. To dislodge the dough, she rubbed the palms of her hands together briskly, and off fell these quirky little sticks of pasta.

Video clips of women effortlessly making trofie would imply that it's a cinch to make, but nothing could be further from the truth. It took us around six hours of practice until we could produce something even remotely passable. The basic technique is to take a small ball of dough and roll it diagonally across your worktop using the palm of your hand. Get it right, and you will end up with a cute, twisted shape with tapered ends.

If you have the patience, it really is worth trying to make trofie yourself because the mass-produced stuff is far too uniform for our liking. The rustic charm of handmade pasta is that no two pieces are the same, and that ensures that every mouthful is different, making for a more pleasurable eating experience.