Pastina “Italian Penicillin”

Prep time: a few minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Total time: about 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe Info

Pastina is Italy’s ultimate comfort food. It’s buttery, cheesy and silky and will cure any ailment. Pastina is an Italian word that translates to tiny pasta. It can come in a variety of shapes from little circles to little stars. The little pasta is cooked in brodo (homemade chicken broth or vegetable broth) for that extra flavor and a small knob of butter until it’s plump, and has absorbed most of the stock. It’s then finished off with parmesan cheese, a little more butter and sometimes a whisked egg! Everyone has their own version of pastina. Some people like to make it more like a soup, while others like to make it thicker and more like a risotto. This recipe will leave you with a thick and risotto-like pastina.

4 cups chicken stock (or 4 cups water and chicken or vegetable bullion cubes)
1 cup pastina (tiny stars)
50 g butter
½ cup Pecorino, Romano, or Parmesan, grated + extra to serve
½ t parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil

In a medium pot on a high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the pastina, parsley, and butter to the chicken stock, and immediately turn the heat down to medium-low. Continuously stir the pastina until it’s plump, and has absorbed 80% of the liquid. Take the pastina off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper. Next, stir through the cheese until melted and creamy. Finish off with a sprinkling of extra cheese and drizzle of olive oil!

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