Pastina Soup — Italian Childhood Memories
Italian Pastina Soup is lovingly known as “Italian Penicillin Soup” is a delicious and delicate soup that’s near and dear to my heart and other Italians. Pastina is the ultimate Italian comfort food that evokes childhood memories of my mother’s cooking. Pastina Soup brings back precious feelings of nostalgia from my family’s Italian 🇮🇹 cucina. Comfort made with love. Why? Because making homemade chicken broth from scratch is a labor of love (in the beginning) and a snap to put together later with the teeny, tiny pastina noodles! Mmmmm!
Nothing could be so incredibly healing as this cherished recipe. Whenever my siblings and were sick, my mother or my nonna would always make this incredibly healthy soup. The flavor alone made us feel better! Nothing was better for the soul than slurping this soup.
Yet, as with all Italian recipes, every nonna and mama has their own unique way of preparing it.
Made with homemade chicken broth, it’s extremely easy to prepare and will warm not only your heart but also your children’s hearts. However, I say that this is easy with the caveat that simplicity comes after the broth is made.
Yes, you can buy the canned variety of chicken broth, especially when you are in a pinch for time. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to homemade chicken broth. And it’s really not that hard to make. Trust me!
My mother made her version of chicken noodle soup with homemade chicken broth and tiny, tiny little pasta shaped in the form of stars . . . known as ‘pastina‘. This recipe represents the ‘cucina povera‘ (poor food) that my relatives ate in the harsh environment of the Italian mountains in the 19th and 20th centuries prior to moving to America.
My family recipe for chicken broth (Brodo di Pollo) was posted on this blog back in November 25, 2009. However, you can click here for the recipe.
Who doesn’t like chicken noodle soup? And what soup comes to mind the most when someone is a little under the weather? When someone you love needs some warm comfort food? Chicken noodle soup! A classic, traditional soup in our culture.
- In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth (preferably home-made) and Parmesan rind to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tiny pastina noodles and cook until the pasta is tender for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken if using, and heat through about 3 minutes.
- Remove the Parmesan rind and discard.
- Stir in 1/2 of the cheese.
- Season with sea salt to taste.
- Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, if desired.
- Serve with warm, crusty Italian bread for sopping up any extra broth.
Serve with warm, crusty Italian bread for sopping up any extra broth.
This post was originally posted in 2010 and updated in 2021.