TikTok Pastina Recipe (2024)

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This TikTok Pastina recipe is going viral because it is pure comfort food. It is creamy, buttery, cheesy and so easy to make.

TikTok Pastina Recipe (1)

Also know as the "Italian Penicillin", this recipe is what Italian grandmothers make when someone is sick.

This pasta is cooked in delicious chicken broth and it is said to make you feel better when you are under the weather.

What is Pastina

The word Pastina translates to "tiny pasta". It comes in lots of different shapes such as the Steline (little stars) or acini di Peppe (little peppercorns).

Pastina is the term referring to pasta the is smaller than 1-2mm in diameter.

This tiny pasta shapes are commonly used in beloved Italian soups like the famous Italian Wedding Soup.

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These pastinas are very versatile and can be used in cold pasta salads, soups and it can replace ingredients like barley or couscous.

When I visited Italy and tried this pastina, it totally reminded me of a creamy Mac and cheese!

Why you will love this recipe

This recipe is pure nostalgia for people who grew up in an Italian household.

This pastina recipe is a childhood favorite of many as this pasta is one of the first solid foods for babies.

This recipe is like a warm hug. It is creamy, cheesy and buttery. It is easy to make and comes together quickly.

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Ingredients for Pastina

For this recipe you only need 5 ingredients. Most of the ingredients are pantry and household staples.

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  • Pastina: It comes in several shapes and names. The most commonly used are Steline (tiny stars) and Acini di Peppe (Tiny peppercorns). If you can't find those, Orzo is a good substitute but cooking time will vary.
  • Chicken broth: The base of this pastina is chicken broth, it gives it nice flavor and saltiness and if you happen to be under the weather, it will help you feel better.
  • Parmesan cheese: I always grate my own parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture.
  • Egg: The lightly beaten egg is going to give this pastina its creamy texture.
  • Butter: A pat of butter added to the pastina is known in Italian as "mantecare" or to add fat. This will make your pastina silky and creamy without any cream!
  • Pepper: This is optional but it amplifies the parmesan flavor and rounds up the dish really nicely.

Step by step instructions.

This tiny pasta shapes cook really quickly. The secret to a perfect pastina is all in the ratio of liquid to pasta and the egg technique I will explain below.

Cook the pastina al dente

In a medium sauce pan, add the chicken broth and the pasta. I love to use this enameled sauce pan because it prevents the tiny pasta from sticking to the bottom.

If you don't have an enameled sauce pan, be sure to keep stirring the pastina with a wooden spoon.

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Beat the egg and parmesan

In a medium bowl lightly beat the egg and the grated Parmesan cheese.

Make sure to use a fine microplane as this will prevent the cheese from clumping in the pasta.

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Add the egg to the pastina

When the pastina is cooked al dente, remove from the heat. Add the egg mixture while whisking vigorously to avoid the egg from "cooking".

The pasta will still be hot and this will make the egg safe to eat.

Add a pat of butter to the pasta

Adding butter at the end of the cooking process is called "mantecare" or to add fat. It makes the pasta silky and creamy without having to use cream.

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Serve and enjoy

To serve the pasta, add more shaved parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of pepper.

What to serve with Pastina

This Pastina can be served on its own! Adding the egg and parmesan cheese packs plenty of protein into this pasta dish.

If you want to add a side of roasted broccoli, peas or cooked spinach you will have a complete balanced meal.

Storage, reheating and freezing instructions

If you have any leftover pastina, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

The best way to reheat this pastina is over the stove top. Since this pasta has egg the best way to avoid the egg curdling in the pasta is to use low heat.

To reheat the pastina, add a splash of water or more chicken broth and cook over low heat until heated thru.

Where to buy Pastina

This tiny pastas can be found at most super markets. Target sells this star shape pasta.
If you are unable to find tiny pasta at your local super market, an Italian grocer is your best bet. Most Italian delis carry a selection of imported pastas and I've always found acini di Peppe in stock.

Can I make pastina with Orzo?

Although orzo is a small pasta is not considered a "pastina" per se. However you could use orzo in this recipe, just note that the broth to pasta ratio is different. If using orzo, cook according to package instructions.

TikTok Pastina Recipe (8)

TikTok Pastina Recipe


This TikTok Pastina recipe is going viral because it is pure comfort food. It is creamy, buttery, cheesy and so easy to make.

5 from 19 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 15 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine Italian

Servings 2

Calories 308 kcal


  • ½ cup Acini di peppe Or any tiny pasta shape.
  • 1 ½ cups Chicken broth
  • cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • Pepper to taste Optional


  • In a sauce pan add the chicken broth and the pasta.

    ½ cup Acini di peppe, 1 ½ cups Chicken broth

  • Cook the pasta over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and pasta is al dente.

  • In a bowl, whisk the egg and parmesan cheese until you get an uniform paste.

    ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 Egg

  • Remove the pasta from the heat and use a whisk to stir the pasta as you add the egg mixture.

  • Add the butter and keep stirring until it has dissolved.

    1 tablespoon Butter

  • Sprinkle more parmesan cheese and pepper. Serve and enjoy.

    Pepper to taste


Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 15gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 997mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 427IUCalcium: 218mgIron: 2mg

Keyword Pastina

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

TikTok Pastina Recipe (2024)


Why does pastina make me feel better? ›

When I was in single digits, whenever I had a cold or flu, my Italian granny would make pastina, a simple soup of tiny pasta, chicken broth, olive oil and garlic. Pastina's warm broth soothes the throat and hydrates the fevered body; the garlic is believed to support immunity. But Granny did not use a lot of garlic.

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.

Are pastina and acini di pepe the same? ›

Acini di pepe is a tiny pasta cut, or pastina, that is made with durum wheat and water (semolina flour).

What is the difference between pastina and Pastini? ›

Commonly called pastina in the United States, you may also find this pasta referred to as "pastini" or "pastine." There is no standard "pastina" pasta shape. Rather, it's a general term for any small, shaped pasta. Pastina can be shaped like little stars, tubes, or even tiny macaroni noodles or shells.

What does pasta do to your stomach? ›

Pasta, bread, and other grains contain carbohydrates that can be broken down by digestive enzymes in the small intestine. However, some people may be intolerant to certain types of carbohydrates, such as those found in pasta, which can lead to digestive issues such as bloating and gas.

What does pasta do to your gut? ›

Is pasta good for gut health? A diet high in refined carbohydrates is generally not good for your gut health, since being on a high-refined carbohydrate diet can reduce the presence of good bacteria in your gut. This can result in digestion issues.

What does pastina mean in Italian? ›

Pastina ( lit. 'little pasta') is a variety of pasta consisting of tiny pieces, typically of a round (irregular) shape with a diameter of about 1.6 millimetres (1/16").

What is closest to pastina? ›

What Type of Pasta is Similar to Pastina?
  • Orzo: Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like grains of rice, but slightly larger than pastina. ...
  • Acini di pepe: Acini di pepe is a small, round pasta that is about the same size as pastina. ...
  • Israeli couscous: Israeli couscous is a type of pasta that is shaped like small balls.
Feb 24, 2023

Does pastina have any nutritional value? ›

Here in America, parents choose Barilla Pastina for their young children because it is made from 100% highest quality durum wheat; is enriched with essential nutrients, such as thiamin, iron, riboflavin and niacin; and is easily digested.

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.

Does Prince Spaghetti make pastina? ›

Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Prince Pasta Pastina 12-Ounce Packages (Pack of 15)

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.

What do Italians eat when they're sick? ›

It's the ultimate Italian comfort food especially if you are sick or feeling under the weather. Pastina translates in Italian to “l*ttle pasta”. They are quite tiny pasta pieces ranging from all different shapes. It's usually cooked in a simple broth (brodo) which takes less than 10 minutes to make.

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 ditalini a pastina? ›

That's because pastina in Italian means “l*ttle pasta” and actually refers to a wide variety of pasta that is small. Orzo is pastina. Ditalini is pastina. Alphabet pasta is pastina.

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 make me happy? ›

Pasta contains tryptophan, an amino acid that turns into serotonin, the so-called hormone of happiness,” said Mauro Defendente Febbrari, an expert in metabolic diseases. “That is why eating pasta gives you a feeling of wellbeing and pleasure.”

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.


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