Today I would like to talk about a recipe that I truly love: Trofie alla Carlofortina. It is named after the small village of Carloforte, in Saint Peter’s island, on the southwestern coast of Sardinia.
Carloforte, among many things, is a famous fishing village for its delicious tuna and for the peculiar way of speaking by his inhabitants: coral fishers from Genoa arrived in the small island of Tabarka and after exhausting the resources the moved to the south-west of Sardinia, looking for other coral. As a result, the language spoken today in that area is called “tabarkino” and it’s variety of the Ligurian language (very similar) influenced by Sardinian and Italian.
Speaking about food, when Sardinian tuna meets Ligurian green pesto only great things could happen. It’s an easy recipe and adding cherry tomatoes gives a fresher taste that you will enjoy no matter the season!
How to make Trofie alla Carlofortina
I had the chance to visit Carloforte many times due to my previous job in Sardinia, and this means that I had the chance to try the majority of the good restaurants within the village. I can tell you that once you try the tuna in Carloforte you will become way more picky about this fish 😉
In fact, like for every other recipe and more in general for how Italians think about food, the key is the use of high-quality products.
Using a cheap pasta will be different than cooking a good one; using random tomatoes from the supermarket will give a different flavour compared to the use of pomodori pachino; and in this specific recipe, using the cheapest can of tuna is a crime if you can opt for delicious chunks of a better quality. Actually, the right thing would be fresh tuna, like I used to do when I lived in Sardinia, but it is not easy to find it in London, this is why I now use a preserved one. I always recommend tuna in a glass container and not in the common can, though!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 360g of Pasta (we used Trofie but also Penne or Gnocchi will be perfect)
- A half of a small onion
- 160g of tuna chunks (drained)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
Chop the onion and sauté it with a bit of oil. Before it gets golden add the tuna chunk, alway at a low heat. In the meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in 4 parts and drain as much as possible in order to remove water in excess. Add also the tomatoes and keep everything on the heat for 6-7 minutes.
If you want (I DO!) you can add a glass of white wine to enrich the flavour and make the sauce even more creamy.
When the wine evaporates you can turn off the heating and let the sauce rest.
We have already seen how to make Italian green pesto so I am assuming you already have a jar of delicious green sauce ready to use!
Time to add the pesto too. It is always better not to cook the pesto because it will become darker and with a slightly different taste, toward the bitter.
Our sauce is ready to go, we just need to drain the pasta and put everything in the pan, stir a bit and serve the food!
Trofie alla Carlofortina
- Prep time: 10 minutes for the sauce, 10 to 15 minutes to cook pasta
- Yield: serves 4
- Tips: do not add pesto while heating the sauce, turn the heating off first!