Pastina

4.66 from 61 votes

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If you have not yet tried Pastina, you are missing out on the ultimate Italian 🇮🇹 comfort food. Pastina is also known as “Italian Penicillin” because of its healing properties.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to this dish by my Italian hubby Steve and his Calabrian family. Steve grew up eating pastina and it was his Nonna’s go-to dish anytime he was feeling under the weather.

Your stomach hurts? Here’s some pastina. Toothache? Pastina. You’re heartbroken? Pastina will make it better. This dish is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, satisfying, and comforting. Whether you’ve never tried pastina, or you want to pay tribute to your Italian Nonna 👵, make sure you give this recipe a try and leave a comment below!

Pastina

Why You’ll Love Pastina

Besides curing all your ailments and sorrows (according to Steve’s Nonna 🤷‍♀️), Pastina is extremely fast to make and requires minimal effort and ingredients.

The main ingredient is….you guessed it – Pastina, and you surely already have the other ingredients in your fridge. With very little time invested, you can enjoy a truly Italian experience in the comfort of your home 🏡.

Now, since I’m The Modern Nonna, you know I had to put a modern twist on this traditional recipe. I use two cups of my favorite Kettle and Fire broth (use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off), which provides a whopping 20 grams of protein 🤯. A Nonna-approved dish that meets your macro goals? The perfect meal if you ask me 🤌!

Steve’s Nonno Giovanni and Nonna Vittoria

How to Prepare Pastina

🥣 Grab a pot, then add the broth and water into it, along with a pinch of salt. Let it come to a boil, add in the pastina and cook until it is fully cooked.

🧈 Once the pastina is cooked and all that delicious broth has been absorbed, stir in the butter and some freshly grated parmesan cheese (make sure it’s good quality).

🤌 Lastly, sprinkle some extra parm on top, and enjoy. Yes – literally that easy!

Nonna’s Tip

Traditionally, you can whisk an egg into the cheese and mix it into the Pastina off the heat for a creamier dish.

Steve and Nonno Giovanni 🥺

Pastina Variations and Substitutions

Although rooted in tradition, there are many ways you can make pastina your own. Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Another way to enjoy pastina is by making it into a soup 🍲. Check out my Easy Pastina Soup recipe.
  2. Instead of using bone broth, try using chicken, vegetable or beef broth for a different flavor profile.
  3. If you’d like to up the nutritional value, try adding some vegetables, like diced carrots 🥕, peas, spinach or even butternut squash.
  4. Instead of Parmesan, consider using Pecorino, Asiago, Romano or a blend of cheeses.
  5. Customize the flavor to your liking by adding herbs and spices 🌿 you enjoy. Some suggestions are basil, oregano, thyme or a dash of paprika or cayenne.
  6. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pasta instead of pastina. Keep in mind that cooking time and texture may also differ.
  7. To make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of bone broth. It will be just as delicious!
  8. If you’d like to enhance the protein content, try adding your protein of choice. Some grilled chicken or steak 🥩 would work perfectly.

Similar Recipes

Feel free to make my Viral Pastina Soup or use any of my broth cubes for this recipe.

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Common Questions

what is pastina?

Pastina is a type of tiny pasta, often shaped like stars, rings, or small rounds. It’s commonly used in soups or cooked in broth to make a simple and comforting dish.

Can I use a different type of pasta in this recipe?

You can use alternative small pasta shapes, but the traditional dish uses specific small shapes like stars, ditalini, or small rounds.

How do I store leftover pastina?

Store any leftover pastina in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop with a little added liquid to restore its consistency.

can I make this ahead of time?

Pastina tastes best when it’s fresh, as it can absorb liquid and become mushy if left to sit for too long.

what broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire. Click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pasta instead of pastina. Keep in mind that cooking time and texture may also differ.

How do I make this recipe vegetarian?

To make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of bone broth. It will be just as delicious!

Pastina

Italian Pastina

If you have not yet tried Pastina, you are missing out on the ultimate Italian comfort food. This dish is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, satisfying, and comforting. Whether you've never tried pastina, or you want to pay tribute to your Italian Nonna, make sure you give this recipe a try!
4.66 from 61 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2
Author: The Modern Nonna
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups bone broth, I used grass-fed
  • ½ cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup pastina
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • cup Parmigiano Reggiano, measure with your heart ❤️

Instructions 

  • Add the broth and water to a medium pot, along with a pinch of salt.
  • Let it come to a boil, add in the pastina and cook until the pasta is fully cooked.
  • Once the pastina is cooked, stir in the butter and the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Make sure the parmesan is good quality.
  • Sprinkle some extra grated parmesan on top, and enjoy.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 404mg, Potassium: 17mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 305IU, Calcium: 201mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I’ve made this numerous times just as a soup for my husband and me and many times to someone under the weather. Always a hit!

    1. Pastina is one of my top comfort foods! I’m so glad you and your husband love it too!

  2. I was confused by the quantity of fluid to pastina, and kind of frustrated by the lack of detail in the recipe description. “Let it come to a boil, add in the pastina and cook until the pasta is fully cooked” really didn’t provide enough guidance for me to be able to gauge a timeframe, didn’t tell me if I should stir, I wasn’t sure what the finished texture should be, if the pastina would be completely cooked in this step or continue cooking as the butter & parmesan were added, and I was left wondering whether I should turn off the heat/take the pot off the heat to add my cheese. I ended up consulting a few other pastina recipes for reference while cooking and needed to strain a great deal of liquid out, as the pastina fully cooked without absorbing all of the liquid. Certainly it tastes great, but if I didn’t have my level of experience, this recipe would really be a nonstarter for me. I’d like to recommend much more detail in the recipe itself.

    1. Hi Adrian. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on the pastina recipe! I really appreciate your feedback and get where you’re coming from.

      Keep in mind that my recipes are designed for a broad audience. Making recipes for all kinds of cooks, from beginners to pros, is a bit tricky. Some folks like all the nitty-gritty details, while others just want the basics, so I try to be somewhere in the middle with my instructions. The cooking times for pastina or any pasta are always on the back of the package as well.

      Your pointers about including more info on cooking time, stirring and texture are super helpful and I’ll keep the feedback in mind for future recipes 🙂