Preparation Time: 5 minutes
*Cooking Time: 20 minutes
7 cups chicken broth
1/4 pound small pasta (pastina)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Strain the broth through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Bring it to a fast boil, add the small pasta (pastina) and stir to prevent from sticking.
Cover the saucepan and bring it to boil again, watching carefully so the liquid does not boil over.
Add salt and pepper as desired and cook uncovered at medium heat, according to the directions on the package or until the desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of each serving and serve hot.
* Cooking time and preparation time are not included for homemade chicken broth. Canned chicken broth can be substituted, but the taste may vary.
For variation and additional nutrients: 2 pieces of the boiled chicken, separated from the bones and chopped, along with chopped vegetables cooked in the broth.
I have such nostalgic memories of two little boys coming home from school on rainy winter days. Pastina was their favorite, before they started their home work. They loved it any time, and it always made them feel pampered, especially when they were sick.
Periodically we visited this Italian old lady who was a neighbor when I lived in Italy. These boys couldn't wait for the visits because the moment we arrived she got busy cooking pastina for them. This was a great treat, and definitely better than candy!
Eventually, as they got older, they learned to make it themselves. They liked to cook it when their friends came over. They felt so big and confident because now they knew how to cook!