on Nov 09, 2023
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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!
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 🤌!
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!
Traditionally, you can whisk an egg into the cheese and mix it into the Pastina off the heat for a creamier dish.
Pastina Variations and Substitutions
Although rooted in tradition, there are many ways you can make pastina your own. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Another way to enjoy pastina is by making it into a soup 🍲. Check out my Easy Pastina Soup recipe.
- Instead of using bone broth, try using chicken, vegetable or beef broth for a different flavor profile.
- If you’d like to up the nutritional value, try adding some vegetables, like diced carrots 🥕, peas, spinach or even butternut squash.
- Instead of Parmesan, consider using Pecorino, Asiago, Romano or a blend of cheeses.
- 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.
- 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.
- To make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of bone broth. It will be just as delicious!
- If you’d like to enhance the protein content, try adding your protein of choice. Some grilled chicken or steak 🥩 would work perfectly.
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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.
You can use alternative small pasta shapes, but the traditional dish uses specific small shapes like stars, ditalini, or small rounds.
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.
Pastina tastes best when it’s fresh, as it can absorb liquid and become mushy if left to sit for too long.
I love any broths by Kettle and Fire. Click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off.
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.
To make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of bone broth. It will be just as delicious!
- 2 cups bone broth, I used grass-fed
- ½ cup water
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup pastina
- 1 tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, measure with your heart ❤️
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.