This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (2024)

In 2023, the discontinuation of one particular food product made headlines in a low-key surprising way: Ronzoni's beloved pastina, which I was able to confirm firsthand at my local grocery store.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (1)

Ross Yoder

For many, pastina is sentimental. The itsy-bitsy star-shaped pasta was a first solid food for lots of babies, including me! Ronzoni's official announcement should give you an idea of the sheer gravity of this situation.

(But before you get too upset about it, know that several other brands still make it — including Barilla.)

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (3)

Ross Yoder

I digress. Believe it or not, I'm actually not here to talk about the discontinuation. Rather, I'd like to gush about the beloved "Italian penicillin" that's arguably the most delicious dish you could make with pastina. It's also called pastina. And no shade to chicken noodle soup, but for its simplicity, budget-friendly nature, and stick-to-your-bones heartiness, I think it might be the ultimate sick season comfort food.

HBO / Via giphy.com

Frankly, it's also a terrific "any season" comfort food — and a great rent week meal, to boot.

Pastina is a thick-and-creamy "soup" made by boiling tiny pieces of pasta in water or broth until it reaches a porridge-like consistency. Essentially, it's the Italian (and Italian American) answer to chicken noodle soup. Feel a cold coming on? Eat some pastina — hence the "Italian penicillin" of it all.

It's also been a staple on TikTok ever since the discontinuation of the pasta shape. Search "pastina recipe" on the platform, and you'll be met with thousands of videos showcasing the myriad takes on the dish. Some use a tempered egg to lend creaminess. Others use milk as the main liquid. One TikToker even adds some finely-chopped veggies for a little nutrient boost, but the one common thread between all pastina-lovers is that everyone feels strongly about their personal spin on it.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (4)

TikTok

This brings us to my favorite version. I was first introduced to this dish by a high school friend; I became obsessed with it after my first hesitant bite, and we'd often throw it together as a late-night snack ever since that fateful day. I still make it all the time, tweaking quantities and ingredients throughout high school, college, and adulthood. You can imagine my surprise when I realized, thanks to TikTok, that this "secret" family recipe I had been making for nearly 15 years was actually a wildly popular sick food...but that's life, folks. Unique experiences are a myth.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (5)

Vvoevale / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here's exactly how you can make the version of pastina soup that I've fallen head over heels in love with, which just so happens to be vegetarian if you use vegetable stock or broth. First, the ingredients:

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (6)

Ross Yoder

You'll end up with two servingsif you use the exact quantities above, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can easily halve it if you'd like pastina for one, or double it for four servings. Hell, you can even triple it if you're cooking for a crowd or if you'd like some leftovers.

Also, importantly: There's really no need to add onlyhalf an egg if you're cooking pastina soup for one. My advice would be to use one egg whether you're cooking for one or two people and use two eggs if you're cooking for four or beyond.

STEP #1: Add your stock to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil, then stir in your pastina and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the stock is absorbed — but not all of it! More on this shortly.

Ross Yoder

STEP #2: While the pasta simmers, whisk the egg in a small bowl until completely combined.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (7)

STEP #3: When you have just a bit of stock remaining in your saucepan, turn off the heat completely.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (8)

Ross Yoder

By "just a bit of stock," I mean that the pasta should be showing just underneath the surface of the simmering stock. For my visual learners out there, here's what I mean:

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (9)

Ross Yoder

STEP #4: Mix in the remaining ingredients one at a time. Trust me, y'all — I've made a LOT of pastina, and I've found that the one-at-a-time method is the easiest way to make sure you wind up with a creamy, velvety bowl of deliciousness instead of scrambled eggs. First, stir in the butter until fully melted.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (10)

Ross Yoder

Next, the Parm. If you're grating it fresh, as I did, aim for about a 1/2 cup — but TBH, measure with your heart here. You cannot overdo cheese.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (11)

Ross Yoder

The added butter and Parm cool down the mixture just enough so you're not adding eggs to a boiling soup.

Last is the egg. As demonstrated by yours truly in this chaotic GIF, in which I use a crusty burner as my tripod, pour in the beaten egg while vigorously stirring the pastina mixture.

Ross Yoder

You'll wind up with glossy, clump-free results.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (12)

Ross Yoder

Depending on how salty your stock is, you may or may not need salt. I didn't need it with the brand of stock I used, but now is a great time to taste what you cooked up and add salt as needed, just in case.

That's it! To serve, ladle the pastina into bowls and top with lots of black pepper and extra Parm.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (13)

Ross Yoder

If you're feeling extra, a drizzle of olive oil definitely takes the whole dish over the top — but you do you.

Not to state the obvious, but yeah, it's absolutely delectable whether you're as sick as a dog or the epitome of health. IMO, pastina actually has a lot going for it when compared to most soups. It takes just about 10 minutes to make from beginning to end, and it's a lot more filling. Not for nothing: Since it's super thick, it's even easier to eat than chicken noodle soup. Like, you can eat this while practically horizontal in bed and not worry about dripping hot broth all over your sheets. If that's not a cold season win, I don't know what is.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (14)

Ross Yoder

If the Great Ronzoni Discontinuation of Pastina affected your ability to find pastina at your local grocery store, I'll also let you in on a little secret: You can basically use whatever teeny, tiny pasta shape you can get your hands on since "pastina" in Italian is a blanket category for any small pasta — not just the Americanized star shape. My go-to shape for pastina is actually acini di pepe, but it's your pastina, not mine. Make it as you wish. If you're a kid at heart and want to use alphabet pasta, by all means, go for it.

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (15)

Ross Yoder

For those of you who read the recipe above and are now thinking to yourselves, "This is NOT the version I grew up with," never fear. As mentioned, pastina recipes tend to differ pretty heavily from person to person, so here are some equally tasty variations that are totally worth trying if you'd like:

Brothy, No-Egg Pastina— Use double the amount of stock called for in the recipe above, omit the egg and butter, and wait to add your Parm and black pepper until you've ladled the soup into bowls for serving. This version is especially great for small kids, FYI!

Pastina with Veggies— Sauté some finely diced onion, celery, and carrot in butter or olive oil until just softened before adding your stock and bringing everything to a boil.

Chicken-y Pastina— Start with the method for either of the variations above (it's up to you!), adding pre-cooked shredded or cubed chicken to the boiling stock at the same time you stir in the uncooked pastina.

If you try this recipe or one of its variations in your own kitchen, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below or by DMing me. (And if you have a secret family method for your version of pastina, please, please, please tell me all about it.)

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (16)

Ross Yoder

This Viral 10-Minute Pastina Recipe Is The Ultimate Soup Season Comfort Meal, And It Couldn't Be Easier To Make (2024)

FAQs

Why does pastina make me feel better? ›

Pastina's warm broth soothes the throat and hydrates the fevered body; the garlic is believed to support immunity.

Did Barilla discontinue pastina? ›

One small relief: Though it appears the humble pastina is the latest victim in an increasingly tenuous supply chain, supermarket chain Barilla does seem like it will continue to make the iconic shape. So rest easy, my fellow star-eaters—pastina will live on, even if it might be harder to find than before.

What is so special about pastina? ›

Its small size allows it to cook quickly, making it an ideal choice for quick meals or soothing soups.

Why is pastina called Italian penicillin? ›

The nickname "Italian penicillin" stems from the belief that pastina can help one feel better when sick, much like how penicillin is seen as a cure-all antibiotic.

Why do I feel bad after eating pasta? ›

You may have a gluten intolerance if you get sick after eating gluten, a type of protein. You might feel tired, nauseous or bloated. Another name for gluten intolerance is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

What is a good substitute for pastina pasta? ›

If you can't find pastina pasta or stelline pasta (I've seen it at Target but also bought it online), you can use any little pasta such as orzo, acini de pepe, alphabet pasta, ditalini, small shells, or even Israeli couscous (this may require a different amount of broth or different cooking time; I have not tested this ...

Is pastina good for you? ›

Italian Pastina

This dish is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, satisfying, and comforting.

Does Barilla make Pastina pasta? ›

In Italy, Pastina, a tiny star-shaped pasta, is typically given to children to introduce them to the delicious world of pasta. Barilla Pastina will hold up its firm texture and delicious nutty flavor in soups and simple broths.

Is acini di pepe the same as pastina? ›

Acini di pepe then translates into "seeds of a pepper". They were and are known as a symbol of fertility, which is why they are used in Italian wedding soup. They are also sometimes referred to as pastina (Italian for "tiny dough"); however, some pasta makers distinguish pastina as smaller than acini di pepe.

Do they eat pastina in Italy? ›

Pastina is used in many different ways in Italian cuisine, including as an ingredient of soup, desserts, infant food and also, alone, as a distinct and unique pasta dish.

Is pastina high in carbs? ›

Ronzoni Pastina (0.33 cup) contains 42g total carbs, 40g net carbs, 1g fat, 7g protein, and 200 calories.

Is orzo considered pastina? ›

Yes, orzo is a pastina pasta, which translates to "little pasta." Pastina pasta are typically thought of as pasta shapes for soups.

Is orzo similar to pastina? ›

What's the Difference Between Orzo and Pastina? Pastina is a very small pasta shape that is different from orzo. While orzo is a small, rice-shaped pasta, it is a bit larger than pastina.

What does pastina mean in Italian? ›

noun. [ feminine ] /pas'tina/ (pasta) small pasta.

Can you reheat pastina? ›

It's best to reheat pastina in a small saucepan with a good splash of water or broth.

Is pastina good for when you're sick? ›

Kids from all regions of Italy have eaten this growing up, making it one of the most nostalgic dishes. It's known to soothe all illnesses which is why it has a nickname of Italian medicine or Italian penicillin.

Does pasta make you feel better when sick? ›

Feeling queasy makes all foods sound unappealing, but the right ones can ease symptoms by calming stomach acids. For example, bread, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour may settle your stomach. 1 Refined white rice is low-fiber, bland, and starchy, making it easy on the stomach.

Why does pasta give you energy? ›

Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy. LOW SODIUM & CHOLESTEROL-FREE: Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free.

Why does pasta give you so much energy? ›

Basically, it's true: pasta makes an excellent meal for athletes, particularly those engaged in endurance sports. Why? Simply because pasta is rich in complex carbohydrates and these carbs are the first source of energy used by our muscles.

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