Where to eat Trofie al Pesto in Genoa: the 8 best restaurants chosen by Gambero Rosso

May 17 2024, 12:27
Trofie are a type of water and flour twisty pasta, perfect for holding the fragrant pesto sauce made by hand with a mortar using basil (the best is from Prà), garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan. The “enhanced” version includes green beans and diced potatoes. Pesto is also used to enrich Genoese minestrone and to dress […]

Trofie are a type of water and flour twisty pasta, perfect for holding the fragrant pesto sauce made by hand with a mortar using basil (the best is from Prà), garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan. The “enhanced” version includes green beans and diced potatoes. Pesto is also used to enrich Genoese minestrone and to dress other types of pasta, from picagge (similar to tagliatelle) to trenette and the typical "mandilli de sea" (silk handkerchiefs), a kind of lasagna.

Here are the best places in Genoa to enjoy trofie al pesto

C’era una volta

Trattoria. Federica Adamo leads this establishment in the heart of the city, aiming to offer guests nostalgic cuisine with some successful imaginative touches. Upon entering, you immediately feel a pleasant atmosphere and a sense of being at home. The delight comes from tasting the dishes, from calamari salad to Pasqualina pie, from "enhanced" trofie al pesto (with potatoes and green beans) to wholemeal tagliatelle with cod and lemon ricotta foam, from stuffed squid to fried anchovies. Homemade desserts and moka coffee conclude the meal.

C’era una volta – vico della Casana, 9/1 – 010 2461678 – www.trattoriaceraunavoltagenova.com

Le Cicale Trattoria

Trattoria. One of the five establishments under the Le Cicale brand (the other four being a bistro, a wine bar, a deli, and a restaurant), created by Matteo Costa with his family's help, this trattoria in the Foce area is dedicated to simple and authentic traditional Genoese cuisine, which is not easy to find. The menu always includes cod brandade, pansoti in walnut sauce, trofie al pesto, Ligurian rabbit, stockfish salad, and homemade jam tart. Adequate wine selection, modest prices. Tasteful setting with an outdoor seating area.

Le Cicale Trattoria – via E. Ruspoli, 55r – 010 9910724 – www.lecicalegenova.it

Il Genovese

Trattoria. This historic venue in the city centre has roots going back over a century and today stands as a solid stronghold of traditional cuisine, perhaps slightly lightened but always respectful of original recipes. An added value is the quality of the ingredients, mostly regional, starting with good extra virgin olive oil. Specialities include fried panissette, chestnut flour trofie al pesto, pappardelle with Cabannina beef ragù, stewed stockfish, and flavourful tripe in stew. Well-stocked wine list focusing on Ligurian wineries.

Il Genovese – via Galata, 35r – 010 8692937 – www.ilgenovese.com

Sà Pesta

Trattoria. Nestled in the historic centre’s alleys, this long-standing establishment has been managed by the Benvenuto family for generations. It used to be a salt warehouse, where salt was crushed in a mortar before being sold, hence the name. The culinary repertoire does not disappoint, starting with savoury pies and farinata, among the city’s best, still baked in a wood-fired oven. Then come minestrone, trofie al pesto, meatloaf, cima alla genovese, tripe, and cod. Save some room for the typical Sacripantina cake, it’s worth it. Takeaway available.

Sà Pesta – via dei Giustiniani, 16r – 010 2468336 – www.anticasapesta.com

Trattoria dell’Acciughetta

Trattoria. Behind this establishment’s success is a passionate team that has created a very interesting reality, not just gastronomically. The menu is a mix of various traditions from Italy and around the world, with enticing dishes where fish is the main protagonist. On the menu, you’ll find fried anchovy croquettes, Sori trofie al pesto, cod with broad bean hummus and herb prescinsêua, and sage and lemon panna cotta. Carefully selected wine labels, with options by the glass. The same team also runs Quelli dell’Acciughetta (Corso A. Podestà 51r).

Trattoria dell’Acciughetta – piazza Sant’Elena – 010 8693918 – www.acciughetta.com

Trattoria della Raibetta

Trattoria. An honest and solid establishment where, among the vaults and bricks of an ancient warehouse, you travel back in time to Ligurian cuisine, redolent of sea, garden, and courtyard. Maritime preparations such as tuna mosciame with tomatoes and the variant of brandacujun with cod, a textbook pesto accompanying trofie and other fresh pasta, and variations on fried and stuffed anchovies, define the Genovesity of Raibetta. The wine also tells a local story. Desserts like shortbread canestrelli and blancmange reinforce the family atmosphere. Reservations recommended.

Trattoria della Raibetta – vico Caprettari, 16r – 010 2468877 – www.trattoriadellaraibetta.it

Trattoria Rosmarino

Trattoria. In the heart of the city, this establishment offers typical cuisine with some exemplary executions, not disdaining more creative touches, thus positioning itself in a bistronomic category, highlighted by the cozy and intimate internal rooms. Many interesting dishes; bread, focaccia, desserts, and ice creams are homemade. Examples include brandacujun, flagship anchovies, trofie al pesto, borage ravioli al “tuccu”, zucchini trombetta flan, and tongue in green sauce. The wine list features mostly Ligurian references and various by-the-glass options.

Trattoria Rosmarino – salita del Fondaco, 30 – 010 2510475 – www.trattoriarosmarino.it

I Tre Merli

Restaurant. Beautifully located in the Old Port, with tables offering a magnificent view. The greatest satisfaction comes from the cuisine, which presents well-executed traditional dishes based on good raw materials. Don’t miss the delicious fried items, cundigiun (a typical sailor’s salad), trofie al pesto with potatoes and green beans, stewed stockfish, and, to finish, panera (a delicious semifreddo). From the wood-fired oven, chickpea farinata, an unmissable Recco-type focaccia, and tasty savoury pies. All supported by an excellent wine cellar.

I Tre Merli – calata Cattaneo, 17 – 010 2464416 – www.itremerli.it

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