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Pastina Soup Recipe: Easy Italian Pasta Soup

This pastina soup recipe is one of my favorite comfort foods.

This italian pastina soup recipe will warm your heart.

easy pasta soup recipe


It is a classic Italian comfort food.

Italian households always have a family recipe for pastina. A homemade soup that is the perfect meal for a cold day.

What is Pastina? What Kind of Pasta Is Pastina?

Pastina by dictionary definition, is a tiny pasta shape with a diameter of about 1.6 millimetres. In Italy we have many different types of pastina.

photo of pastina shape

The most popular types of pastina are: little stars shaped, cylindrical-shaped, shell-shaped, butterfly-shaped, alphabet pasta or square-shaped.

These just mentioned are the best known ones.

Why Does Pastina Make You Feel Better?

In Italy we consider it our “Italian penicillin”.

Especially if you have a sore throat, pastina is perfect, hot and small size is easier to eat.



This pastina in broth recipe is the one my mom used to make for me.

It is vegetarian and super delicious. So many variations to prepare the pastina, which I describe below.

These are the main ingredients you need for this recipe:


I used the “orzo” shape. You can use the one you like best like tiny pasta stars


You can use either homemade chicken broth or vegetable, store-bought chicken broth (or vegetable) is also fine.

This will be the liquid where the pastina will cook. You can also use veggie or chicken stock to add to the water once it boils.


I used cherry tomatoes because they have a sweeter flavor.

You can also omit the use of tomatoes, but I love that sweet flavor with every spoonful of the pastina.

Parmesan cheese

Parmigiano can’t miss in this classic Italian dish. 

Extra virgin olive oil

To give a nice flavor to the soup.

How to make Pastina Soup – Step by Step Instructions

Step1 (optional)

Make bone broth (chicken bones or meat bones) at home. This is a step you can skip if you use ready-made broth or stock cube.

Step 2

Put the broth on the boil, in the meantime peel the cherry tomatoes. it’s super simple, I heat some water in the kettle and put it in a bowl, wash the cherry tomatoes and then make an X incision in the bottom and put them in the hot water for about two minutes.

So the peel comes off without difficulty.

broth ingredient for pastina soup
cherry tomato for pastina soup

Step 3

After peeling the cherry tomatoes, I cut them into small pieces and add it to the broth.

When the broth boils I add the pasta, following the cooking time on the package.

Step 4

When the pastina is cooked, I turn off the stove and add the parmesan cheese and a drizzle of oil and mix well.

pastina soup recipe in a spoon

Only three steps for the preparation of this delicious treat. A super quick and easy recipe, perfect for cold days or when you’re feeling a little down.

Pro tips

  • Use homemade broth; it will give the pastina more flavor.
  • The right proportion of broth to pastina, The basic rule is 40 grams of pastina to 250 ml of broth.
  • If you have leftover parmesan rind, don’t throw it away; add it while cooking the pastina.

Pastina Soup Recipe Variations

Add chicken

This a great idea for using leftover rotisserie chicken. It will give a special flavor to your pastina – delicious tender chicken with every scoop.

Add more vegetables

Potatoes, celery, carrot, onion, zucchini. You can add the vegetables you like best.

Let them cook in the broth, when they have softened you can add the pastina.

You can also blend the vegetables before adding the pastina, for a super creamy dish.

Add egg

Prepare a classic version of the dish based on vegetable broth and pastina; when it is ready and still very hot, pour an egg directly into the pot, which you will beat with a fork until it becomes solid.

Finish it off with some grated cheese.

Fish pastina

For this preparation, create a fish stock using shrimp, prawns and clams, without shelling the shellfish.

Add some pink pepper and a leek cut into thin strips. When the base is ready, strain it and add the fish and pastina.


Refrigerated: You can store it in an airtight container for 3 days.

Freeze: I do not recommend freezing it; it is a super simple preparation with just a few steps and a few ingredients.

If you freeze the pastina it may have that mushy effect that no one likes.


What’s the Difference Between Orzo and Pastina?

Orzo is one of the many shape of pastina, with an elongated rice shape. Orzo is classified as pastina.

What is similar to pastina?

As I said above, pastina is a small pasta. When I want to make soup but don’t have pastina, I usually break spaghetti into small pieces. 

Do you have to drain pastina?

It depends on the preparation. For preparing soups with the pastina, no the pastina should not be drained.
Pastina is also used to prepare salads in that case you have to drain it. 

What does pastina mean in Italian?

Pastina in Italian literally means “little pasta”.

What is the difference between acini de pepe and pastina?

Acini pepe is a pastina shape.

Who eats pastina?

Pastina is a baby food cooked for young children. But it is a dish loved by adults as well.

Vegetarian Italian Pastina Soup Recipe

Italian Penicillin


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italian pastina soup
Yield: 2 serving

Vegetarian Simple Pastina Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A Simple Pastina Soup Recipe that will warm you up on any colder day!


  • 1.5 cups Pastina pasta (small pasta shapes)
  • 6 cups Broth
  • 6 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, bring the broth of choice to boil at high heat.
  2. Wash the cherry tomatoes and make an X-shaped incision at the bottom. Heat some water in the kettle. Transfer hot water to a bowl and soak cherry tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Using a knife, remove the skin from the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes to the broth.
  5. When the broth is boiling, add the pastina. Cook at medium heat and follow the cooking times given in the package.
  6. When the pasta is ready, turn off the heat and add Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of oil and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  7. Also add a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and some salt if any is needed.
  8. Serve this soul warming soup piping hot in a soup bowl.


To make an even tastier pasta in broth, add fresh herbs like rosemary, basil or bay leaf.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 541Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1426mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 29g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 4th of April 2023

I have eaten pastina all my life 72years. I love it and so does my family. Orzo or Pastina.

Giacomina Carr

Saturday 25th of February 2023

I think it’s a favourite with all Italian children

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