Pastina

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Warm and nourishing Italian Pastina is comfort food at its best! This simple soup recipe is made with chicken broth, vegetables and tiny pasta stars. It’s the perfect cozy meal to enjoy when the weather turns cold!

Some of my favorite recipes come from Italy! If you enjoy a good Italian soup, try this classic Pasta e Fagioli, creamy  Zuppa Toscana and this Olive Garden copycat Chicken Gnocchi.

Closeup of pastina soup.

What is Pastina?

This recipe is also known as Italian Pastina, or Italian Penicillin. It is commonly used during cold and flu season to stave off, and treat illness. It’s so cozy and comforting, it’s like a warm hug in a bowl. Plus, with plenty of veggie goodness, it’s a delicious combination of fresh and hearty. After being simmered, the vegetables are blended to create wonderful creaminess without the need for heavy cream. Your family will love this Pastina soup, and will be running back for seconds!

Not only is Pastina incredibly tasty, it’s also really easy to make! My family typically enjoys this as a main course. I pair it with warm breadsticks and a fresh salad. However, you could serve it as starter for any favorite meal, or enjoy it alongside a grilled cheese. However you decide to serve it, you are going to turn to this flavorful dish again and again!

Ingredients in Pastina

Just a few simple ingredients are needed for this Pastina recipe. Once you have a bite, this be will one of your new favorite recipes! Both kids and adults enjoy it. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Chicken Broth & Water: The base for all of the ingredients.
  • Vegetables: Carrots, celery, onions and garlic are simmered until soft, and then blended to add flavor and nutrients.
  • Salt: Start with 1 teaspoon of salt to bring out all of the flavors.
  • Pasta: The tiny Italian pasta is the main component in this recipe. Most major brands carry boxed pastina at the grocery store. It may be shaped like stars or very small spheres. You can also use stelline.

How to Make Pastina

I love simple and easy soup recipes, like this one, and this one is healthier too! That’s a win-win! Here’s the simple process to make it:

  1. Simmer Ingredients: To a large stock pot, add the chicken broth, water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and salt. Bring everything to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Cook the Pasta: While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pastina to al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Blend Veggies: Once the vegetables are soft, remove them from the liquid and add them to a blender along with 1 cup of the liquid. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve: Pour the puréed vegetables back into the liquid and stir. Serve the vegetable broth with the cooked pastina and enjoy!

Quick Tip

You can add all the pasta into the broth but the texture is better if you add it in as you serve it. The pasta will absorb the liquid and make it starchy the longer it sits.

4-photo collage of the homemade broth being prepared. Vegetables are simmered until soft, then blended.

Tips & Variations

There are a few things that you can do to change up this Pastina recipe to fit your needs! Here are a few ideas:

  • Vegetarian: To make this recipe vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Gluten Free: As long as you use a gluten-free pasta variety, this recipe is naturally gluten free.
  • Blender: You can use an immersion blender to make this but we recommend using a stand blender, if possible, to get extra creamy results! Just make sure to let the soup cool for a few minutes before putting it in the blender.
  • Add Toppings: If you want to make this soup extra special, try adding some toppings like swirled heavy cream, chopped fresh parsley or other herbs, parmesan cheese, crispy crumbled bacon and some freshly cracked pepper!
A serving of soup in a white bowl.

Storing Leftovers

Pastina is perfect for storing and enjoying later. The perfect way to warm you up from the inside-out all winter long!

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 14 days, if storing broth separate from pasta. 
  • Freezer: You can store the broth in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months. 
  • Reheat: To reheat Pastina, simply pour it into a medium-sized pot and heat it over medium heat until it’s warm throughout.
A spoonful of pastina in a metal spoon.

More Delicious Soup Recipes

We LOVE trying different soup recipes during the cold winter months! It’s a good thing we have enough cozy soup recipes to last you all season long. Here’s some of our favorites:

Soup Recipes

Minestrone Soup

40 mins

Soup Recipes

Tomato Basil Soup

35 mins

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  • To a large stock pot, add the chicken broth, water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and salt. Bring everything to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

  • While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pastina to al dente, drain and set aside.

  • Once the vegetables are soft, remove them from the liquid and add them to a blender along with 1 cup of the liquid. Blend until smooth.

  • Pour the puréed vegetables back into the liquid and stir. Serve the vegetable broth with the cooked pastina and enjoy!

Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 749mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3831IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg

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

About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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