Pastina

I had the opportunity to catch up with some great old work buddies recently. We joked around, had a couple of drinks, laughed a lot, and reminisced about crazy work experiences that I believe only we have personally gone through together. It was a good time and as I walked my one friend to her car and back to home myself I could feel my cheeks sore. The soreness you only get after a good night of laughter with great people. I woke up earlier than my alarm the next morning and my throat was scratchy. My only thought was that I laughed too much last night, and obviously stayed out a bit too late when you have to be at work as early as I the next day. I didn’t think I should have been alarmed, but the following day I felt terrible. To make matters worse Brian rolled over and said he had a scratchy throat!  By the time weekend hit we were both under the weather. Numerous cups of tea were consumed and lots of soup.

One of the few boxes of Pastina I brought home from our New Jersey visit.

A week later and we are finally better. It dawned on me that we went the whole week with a cold and neither of us had or made Pastina! How could we have not thought of it is beyond me. You see Pastina is something both of us always had growing up when you had a cold or were under the weather. Pastina is just really tiny pasta. Moving away from the east coast we had a hard time finding it. I use to get really small boxes of it at an Italian deli in Phoenix, but since our move to Seattle I have not found it anywhere. When we were in New Jersey in May I stopped in at a local shop and picked up a few boxes to take back home with us. My mom always made it for me and my sister by simmering it in broth and topping it with grated cheese. Brian said his parents often made it by boiling it in water, draining it, and stirring in some butter and black pepper. To be honest with you, both ways are really good. But since I had it on my mind I had to make it for myself this afternoon.  I opted for the simmering in broth version, but if you choose to make it; do it any way you wish. And if you are not feeling well, a bowl of this will instantly make you feeling better. Trust me!

Warm bowl of Pastina with broth and freshly grated cheese.

Pastina in Broth (feeds 1)

2 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable), homemade is best

¼ cup of Pastina (or any small shaped pasta)

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Sea Salt and black pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan

First; place the broth in a small pot and place it over high heat. Bring it to a simmer and add in the pastina. Be sure to stir it often as you do not want it to begin to stick.

Next; you can sprinkle in the sea salt and black pepper to taste and a bit of cayenne. Still you should be stirring it constantly.

Finally, you will notice the pastina will have swelled and absorbed the majority of the broth. I like to taste it to be sure the pasta is cooked through all the way. Once it is cooked through you can pour it into a bowl and serve with cheese grated over it,