September 29, 2023


Food Information

What’s Pastina Pasta? – The Pasta Venture

6 min read
Pastina, which accurately interprets to small or tiny pasta, is the title given to greater than 30 Italian soup pastas. Most sorts of pastina are very small. Historically, Italians prepare dinner this tiny pasta immediately in a soup or broth. However, additionally they use it in child meals, salads, desserts and a few risotto-style pasta dishes.

Trendy forms of these Italian soup pastas are available all types of machine-made shapes from stars to letters of the alphabet! Nevertheless, the idea of including small items of pasta to soups dates again centuries. The truth is, there are fairly a couple of forms of pastina which had been and, in some instances, nonetheless are made by hand.

Different types of Italian pastina pasta in long collage image.

The various totally different shapes and names of Italian pastina.

For lots of soup pasta followers within the USA, the one sort of pastina they know and use is stelle or stelline (stars), additionally referred to as fiori di sambuco (elder flowers) and astir (stars) in Italy. Nevertheless, though some forms of Italian pastina look fairly comparable, they’ve totally different names.

Orzo/risoni pasta on white plate.
Orzo/risoni pastina.

For instance, a number of pastina shapes allude to seeds of fruits, grains and legumes. To call a couple of, there’s semi di cicoria (chicory seeds), semi di grano (wheat), semi di mele (apples), semi di melone (melon), semi d’orzo (barley), semi di peperone (bell pepper), semi di popone (melon), semi di riso (rice), semi d’avana (oat seeds), pignè (pine nuts), acini di pepe (peppercorns) and pepe bucato (peppercorns with a gap).

Tuscan minestrone with orzo in terracotta bowl.
Tuscan minestrone with orzo.

Of the above, two of essentially the most well-known are semi di orzo, additionally referred to as simply orzo, and semi di riso (risoni). These are principally the identical. Each really appear like grains of rice. You will discover this pastina bought as orzo or risoni. In line with Italian Wikipedia orzo originated in Tuscany.  Orzo pasta can also be utilized in Greece, Spain, Turkey and different Arab international locations, not simply in Italy.

Dried tripolini pasta on rush mat.
Tripolini pastina.

Acini di pepe is one other well-liked pastina additionally discovered exterior Italy. The truth is, there’s a Jewish dish referred to as keskasoon which is made with acini di pepe and chickpeas. Plus, in some components of the USA, they make a candy pasta dish referred to as frogeye salad with this pastina, canned fruits, egg custard, marshmallows and whipped cream! Acini di pepe originated in Liguria.

Dried corallini pastina in white bowl.
Corallini pastina.

Pastina named after ex-Italian colonies.

Curiously, there are additionally some pastas named after ex-Italian colonies. These are Asabessi, Abissini, Bengasine, Tripolini and Tripoline (with an ‘e’) The latter are a protracted pasta, just like Mafaldine however ruffled on just one edge. This isn’t usually a soup pasta. You will discover it made by Rummo.

ciccioneddus (small malloreddus from Sardinia),
ciccioneddus pastina (small malloreddus from Sardinia),

Bengasine pasta are formed like small bowties with ruffles. Tripolini are comparable. Abissini seems to be like small conchiglie (shells) and asabessi are small ovoids with ruffles. These are all tradtionally served in broth. Pasta maker La Molisana produces abissini rigati.

Sicilian anelletti pasta rings on white plate.

Different forms of pastina pasta.

Italians additionally use different forms of small pasta in broth or soups which aren’t as tiny because the pastina talked about above. Nevertheless, within the Italian kitchen, they’re additionally labeled as pastina.

Examples of those are ciccioneddus (small malloreddus from Sardinia), anelletti (small anelli from Sicily), ditalini (small ditaloni tubes), farfalline (small farfalle – bow-tie pasta) and extra.

Dried fregola from Sardinia.
Dried fregola from Sardinia.

Little pasta soup balls.

One of many oldest forms of pastina which are nonetheless made by hand as we speak come within the form of small balls. In Liguria, they make scucuzzu or scuccuzzu’, little balls of pasta that are just like couscous however made with eggs.

The phrase ‘scucuzzù’ really means ‘hail’ within the previous Genovese dialect. Prior to now, there was lots of commerce between Genoa and North Africa and it’s potential scucuzzu was a ‘copy’ of couscous.

Sardinian fregola with clams.
Sardinian fregola with clams.

Nevertheless, you will discover comparable balls of soup pasta in different areas too, like fregola (fregula) in Sardinia. Each scucuzzu and fregola can be found dried. Fregola has develop into fairly well-known and well-liked exterior of Italy. I’m unsure if dried scucuzzu is accessible in different international locations.

Grated or crumbled pastina for soup.

Aside from small balls of pasta, conventional do-it-yourself pastina is normally made by grating or crumbling the pasta dough into very small and irregular items. Pastina that’s made by grating the pasta dough is usually known as pasta grattata (grated pasta) or grattini.

Dried grattini in white bowl.
Dried grattini.

You should purchase ready-made grattini however that’s really rounder and extra uniform in form than the items you get when it’s do-it-yourself. These days, some folks make grattini utilizing a meals processor.

Should you’d wish to strive making grattini in a meals processor take a look at my gratin-grattini submit.

Homemade grattini in broth in white bowl with spoon.
Do-it-yourself grattini in broth.

There are additionally forms of grated soup pasta with totally different names relying on the area the place they make it. Examples of this are pasta rasa or ragia from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, bilimbandi from Campania and bilant from Basilicata.

Some do-it-yourself soup pasta is simply crumbled or formed by hand. Prior to now, this was typically only a easy flour and water pasta, notably within the poorer extra rural Southern Italian areas.

Homemade cheese, egg and parsley pastina in broth in white bowl.
Do-it-yourself cheese, egg and parsley pastina in broth.

Nevertheless, these days, these pastas are extra ceaselessly made with egg and cheese and generally parsley within the dough. Centuries in the past, this richer sort of soup pasta was solely discovered on the tables of the wealthy or made for particular events like weddings.

You will discover such a pastina in Basilicata, Puglia and Molise, in addition to Sicily and Campania. The most typical names are semola battuta, triddhi, milaffanti or millefanti.

Homemade millefanti pastina in broth in white bowl.
Do-it-yourself millefanti pastina in beef broth.

Pastina in broth for teenagers.

In Italy, pastina cooked in broth is actual consolation meals given to younger youngsters. Many Italians grew up consuming pastina from after they had been infants. The truth is, the well-known Italian child meals firm Plasmon makes quite a few child meals with pastina appropriate for infants from 4 months of age.

Orzo cooked risotto-style with pumpkin in white bowl on blue and white table mat.
Orzo cooked risotto-style with pumpkin.

Italian pastina in broth is usually referred to as ‘minestrina’. The broth could be made with fish, meat or greens. However the preferred for kids is rooster or vegetable broth. Some Italians add grated Parmigiano or a splash of olive oil as effectively.

Italian penicillin.

After all, pastina in broth isn’t only for youngsters. Many Italians proceed to adore it all through their lives however notably when feeling unwell. This pasta soup is the Italian equal of rooster noodle soup or matzo ball soup. It’s each Italian grandmother’s treatment for a lot of ills whether or not it’s the flu or a abdomen upset. The truth is many check with it as ‘Italian penicillin’!

What is pastina? Different types of Italian pastina pasta in long Pinterest pin  image.

These days, Italians use pastina in different recipes and totally different soups not simply broth. Click on on the hyperlinks beneath for a number of the recipes with pastina right here on The Pasta Venture and tips on how to make do-it-yourself pastina too!

Pastina pasta recipes to take a look at.

  1. Do-it-yourself pastina in broth
  2. Do-it-yourself beef broth with grattoni
  3. Pasta with pumpkin risotto-style
  4. Zucchini flower pasta risotto-style
  5. Tuscan minestrone with orzo
  6. Tuscan kale, white bean and pasta soup

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