Stellini, macaroni, acini di peppe; all of these small cut pastas have always been grouped under "pastina" in my house for as long as I can remember. Whenever my brother and I were sick, it was a chilly day, or we just needed some comfort food, my dad would make us a big bowl of pastina. There was no right or wrong way to make it; I liked my vegetables left whole, while my brother liked his chopped, I liked a lot of pastina with little broth, John liked a moderate amount of each. But the broth always involved tomatoes, carrot, potato, onion, garlic, and herbs from our garden. I still make pastina whenever I need a little homey comfort food, which is to say, very often. Here's my recipe...
Free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish
Vegetarian and vegan
Can be gluten-free if made with a gluten-free pasta, such as rice pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 Yukon Gold potato, roughly chopped
approx. 1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
approx. 1/2 cup yellow or cooking onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato (Roma or Hot House) cut in quarters
4 cups water
about 1/4 cup each roughly chopped fresh parsley and basil
1 cup uncooked pastina (I used De Cecco Tubetti)
2 cups baby arugula
Heat the olive oil, garlic, potato, onion, and carrot in a medium soup pot and season with salt. Sautee until everything is translucent and softened. Add the tomato, parsley, basil, and water and turn the heat to low. Let it simmer for about an hour with the lid on but askew so that it can reduce. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. Add the pastina and cook according to package directions. Stir in the arugula right at the end before serving.