Pastina Soup: Our Family Homemade Recipe
When the cold weather approaches, our family starts making a cozy homemade recipe you should try preparing as well, pastina soup. Pastina, literally ‘little pasta’, is the general term for the small pasta shapes used in Italy to add substance to soups and stews. These minuscule pieces of dough cook in no time and are quick and easy to make. Pastina can even be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer for a last-minute addition to a dish. Watch as the Local Aromas Foodie Sisters show you how to make authentic pastina.
Pastina can be made from a simple egg pasta dough, the same as you would use for larger pasta shapes. So when making any type of pasta it is worth keeping the leftover piece of dough and cutting them up into smaller pieces to be used as pastina. Once you have made your pastina you can use it to bulk out any dish which has enough liquid for it to cook. Try adding it to a simple meat broth, minestrone or bean stew for a hearty, satisfying meal perfect for cold winter nights.
In this video you can see how Valeria and Benedetta prepare two different kinds of pastina: grattata where the dough is left to dry out a little before it is grated into tiny pieces, and maltagliati where the dough is rolled out and then roughly cut into the shapes of your choosing. However, you can also experiment and form the pasta into whatever shape you prefer, then just add to your dish for 2-3 minutes at the end of cooking.
(for 1-2 people)
100g all-purpose flour
Place the flour into a bowl and create a well in the center. Break the egg into the well and use a fork to gradually incorporate the flour into the egg. When the mixture has formed a dough, tip it onto a floured work surface and knead with your hands until it becomes smooth and stretchy; about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it to rest for 15-30 minutes.
If making the pastina grattata you should now remove the plastic wrap and leave the dough to air-dry for a little while to make it easier to grate. Choose the size you wish to grate and then simply rub it on the grater to create tiny pasta pieces.
To make the maltagliati you should not leave the dough to air-dry but roll the dough through a pasta machine to create a thin sheet. Then, using a sharp knife, cut out your desired shapes.
The pastina can be cooked immediately in a soup or broth, or alternatively, spread it out over a work surface and leave it to dry slightly before transferring to a container for freezing. When you need it, the pastina can be cooked directly from frozen.