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Pastina with Parmigiano

 February 6, 2023

When it comes to cozy and comforting meals, there is nothing better than “Italian Penicillin” – aka, pastina. Pastina is a small, delicate pasta that is often served to children or those who are ill, as it is easy to eat and digest. But don’t let its simple appearance fool you – when paired with the right ingredients, pastina can be a truly delicious and satisfying dish. And my Pastina with Parmigiano is a creamy, cheesy, delicious pastina with just the perfect amount of lemon to make this dish shine.

A big bowl of the pastina, with parmesan cheese actively being sprinkled on top of it

Friends, let me introduce you to a recipe that is NOT gluten-free or dairy-free by any means… but is certainly, absolutely, delicious. Introducing: Pastina. If you have never heard of pastina before, then first of all: RUN to your kitchen and go make this recipe right now! Pastina translates to “tiny pasta” in Italian, and represents a tiny pasta shape that is cooked with chicken broth and LOTS of parmesan cheese. In America, the most common pastina shape is these tiny stars, which I think are way too cute!

All of the ingredients needed to make this pastina, laid out on a countertop. In a pot full of chicken broth, pastina is actively being poured into it
To make this Pastina, you’ll need pastina, chicken stock or bone broth, parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, and lemon zest

I first discovered pastina years ago, when I was looking for a dish to feed my boys while they were sick (that wasn’t chicken noodle soup.) Traditionally, pastina is served to anyone who is under the weather, which is how it got its nickname of “Italian Penicillin.” Don’t ask me how pasta and cheese makes you feel better – it just does!

And to take this pastina to the next level, we are adding in some fresh lemon for a delicious, zesty, creamy flavor that truly cannot be beat. Just be sure to top your pastina with a mountain of fresh parmesan cheese – it’s a REQUIREMENT for this dish!

7 Ingredients to Make This Delicious Tiny Pastina

  • Chicken Broth: By swapping out chicken broth for water, we are going to give this pastina a rich, bold flavor! If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can also substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth.
  • Pastina: Pastina is also known as “tiny pasta” in Italian! In Italy, it refers to any tiny pasta shape, but in America, it generally refers to a tiny, star shaped pasta, like the one that I used!
A pot of chicken broth with the pastina actively being poured into it. A bowl of shredded parmesan cheese and a small bowl of sea salt sit next to the pot
Don’t forget to add your parmesan rinds into the pot with the pastina, to add extra flavor!
  • Parmigiano Rind: Don’t throw away your rinds! The parmigiano rinds add a rich, bold, cheesy flavor that tastes delicious in this recipe.
  • Lemon: Fresh squeeze lemon juice adds the perfect zest to this dish!
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Of course, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper adds the perfect flavor to any pasta recipe!
  • Parmigiana Reggiano: After all, this would not be Pastina with Parmigiano without the Parmigiana Reggiano. I use BIG mountain of parmigiana in this recipe, so grate your cheese to your heart’s content!
Two bowls of the pastina, sitting beside each other on a countertop. One of the bowls has a spoon placed into it.

The Key to Making EXTRA Creamy Pastina

And if you desire a pastina dish that is even MORE creamy and comforting, add a knob of butter to your pastina after it finishes cooking! The butter will melt beautifully, adding the perfect creamy texture to complement all of the cheese.

I especially love doing this on a cold, cozy winter day to make this dish even more comforting!

How to Make This Creamy, Cheesy, Star-Shaped Pasta

Making this pastina truly could not be any easier! To make this pastina, start by adding the chicken broth, pastina, parmigiano rind, lemon juice, and a large pinch of sea salt and pepper to a large pot.

Next, bring the pot to a gentle boil on the stove and cook until the pastina is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Once done, transfer your pastina to a bowl and top it off with a mountain of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and more cracked pepper. Then, serve and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A big bowl of the pastina, with parmesan cheese actively being sprinkled on top of it
Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free

Pastina with Parmigiano

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Nicole Modic
SERVES 8 Servings
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When it comes to cozy and comforting meals, there is nothing better than "Italian Penicillin" – aka, pastina. Pastina is a small, delicate pasta that is often served to children or those who are ill, as it is easy to eat and digest. But don't let its simple appearance fool you – when paired with the right ingredients, pastina can be a truly delicious and satisfying dish. And my Pastina with Parmigiano is a creamy, cheesy, delicious pastina with just the perfect amount of lemon to make this dish shine. 

Ingredients

  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth you can also use bone broth, if you prefer!
  • 1 16 oz Package Pastina
  • 1 Parmigiano Rind
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Parmigiana Reggiano I recommend using a big mountain of it. 😉

Instructions

  • To make this pastina, start by adding the chicken broth, pastina, parmigiano rind, lemon juice, and a large pinch of sea salt and pepper to a large pot.
  • Next, bring the pot to a gentle boil on the stove and cook until the pastina is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed.
  • Once done, transfer your pastina to a bowl and top it off with a mountain of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and more cracked pepper. Then, serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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