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Pastina Soup {Minestrina}

Pastina Soup {Minestrina}

Delicious, flavorful and quick to make Pastina soup is pure comfort food for all ages, anytime of the year.

They often joke that pastina is an Italian “penicillin”.

And that’s because when you’re sick or not feeling good pastina soup or minestrina is what an Italian mom or nonna would make to make their babies (big and small) feel better.

And it works!

You can make it with very minimal ingredients like pastina, water and creamy cheese wedges or add to it extra flavor and nutrients by cooking it in chicken broth.

Whatever version you choose, a delicious bowl of hot and light pastina soup will surely warm your body and soul.

Pastina literally means “tiny pasta” or “little pasta” and it comes in so many different teeny tiny shapes.

So even if you make it often it’s never boring.

Here are some of the most popular pastina types.

Tiny Pasta Shapes

  • Anellini – tiny ring shape.
  • Acini – peppercorn shape.
  • Conchigliette – small shells.
  • Corallini – small short tubes.
  • Midolline – water drops or melon seed shape.
  • Stelline – star shape – probably the most popular shape!
  • Farfalline – small bowtie or butterfly shape.
  • Puntine – the tiniest of all soup pasta shapes. The most ideal pastina for babies.
  • Risoni – rice grains shape.
  • Quadrucci – small pasta squares.
  • Fillini – little threads shape.
  • Tempesta – small pebbles shape, hence it’s called tempesta – storm or hailstorm.
  • Tempestine – tiny pebbles.

My personal favorite pastina shape is stelline or star pastina and farfalline.

But you can use whatever you like, including ditalini pasta, even though they are more suitable for hearty soups like Classic Italian Minestrone Soup or creamy and delicious Ditalini Soup With Chickpeas & Bacon.

Can I make Pastina Soup for a baby?

Absolutely! Pastina recipe for babies is very similar to classic version.

In fact, Pastina Soup IS baby food that adults make when they want food that feels like a cuddle.

From early childhood Italians eat pastina or minestrina and it’s one of the most beloved foods

In fact, you can make pastina for babies starting from 8-9 months.

Here’s a few adjustment and variation you can make if you’re making pastina soup for a baby:

  • If you’re cooking pastina for a very young baby use homemade vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and choose the tiniest shape, like orzo.
  • If you need a boost of proteins, once pastina is almost cooked add an egg and beat it quickly just the way you make an egg drop soup. I also use this trick with my baby who doesn’t like plain eggs. Of course, consult your pediatrician or health provider before adding egg and introducing new foods to your baby.
  • Use homemade fish stock to make rich and utterly delicious fish minestrina.

Another thing you’ll love about pastina soup is that you can easily make it for the whole family.

Because one is never too old for a hot bowl of pastina soup!

Now, if you have grown up in Italian household I bet you don’t need the “recipe” BUT if you’re just discovering this Italian classics, here are a few tips before you start making pastina.

Chicken Broth or Water?

The best liquid to cook pastina in is of course rich homemade chicken broth.

More often than not, if I don’t have homemade broth I use plain water and enrich it with creamy cheese wedges or simply with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Another great option is vegetable broth. It’s easy and quick to make.

For a small pot for 2-3 portions you’ll need: 1 carrot, 1 celery rib, 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 small potato, pinch of peperoncino (chili flakes), 1 rosemary sprig, a few stems of parsley, bay leaf and a couple of cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomato (optional). Bring all ingredients to a boil and cook on slow simmer for about 30 minutes then drain.

Yes, you can use low sodium boullion cubes or better than bouillon BUT save it as your last option.

How To Serve Pastina Soup?

Pastina cooks really fast due its tiny shape. Depending on the type of pastina you choose it’ll take 2-5 min max of cooking time.

And as mentioned before, you can make an absolutely delicious pastina soup even if you cook it in plain water (with some salt).

But Italian secret that makes your taste buds sing with joy is how you serve pastina. And by “serve” I mean the condiment or flavoring you choose.

When pastina is served in a bowl add a creamy cheese triangle, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some more Parmesan cheese to taste. It’s the most Italian condiment of all!

Especially if you find Parmareggio or melted Parmesan cheese triangles.

It’s not easy to find outside of Italy, so you can also use creamy cheese wedges that you’ll find your local grocery store or even a dollop of cream cheese.

This is what makes pastina soup so creamy and incredibly flavorful, EVEN if you use just plain water instead of broth.

Another alternative to cream cheese wedges is the classic butter and Parmesan cheese that you can add to your pastina soup.

So if you have comfort food cravings or feel under the weather and even need to feed a baby or toddler who refuses to eat anything else, save this recipe! It takes 7 minutes AT MOST to make the most delicious comforting pastina soup.

Pastina Soup {Italian Minestrina}

More Italian Soup Recipes To Try

Pastina Soup {Italian Minestrina}

Pastina Soup {Minestrina}

Delicious, flavorful and quick to make Italian Pastina soup with minimal ingredients is pure comfort food for all ages, anytime of the year.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2


  • 4 oz pastina any tiny pasta shape
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Parmareggio triangles or other creamy cheese wedges
  • Parmesan cheese grated
  • Extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • Rosemary sprig optional for decoration


  • Bring chicken broth to boil, add pastina. Cook for 2-7 minutes depending on the shape you’ve chosen. Check pastina cooking time on the package.
  • Pour pastina with broth in a soup bowl. Add creamy cheese wedges, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese if you like.
  • Garnish with a small rosemary sprig (optional)
  • Serve hot!


You can use any type from orzo pastina, stelline or star pastina (most favorite) to farfalline and even small ditalini pasta.
Liked this recipe?Follow @italianrecipeb for more!
Pastina Soup {Italian Minestrina}

Looking for a piece of rustic bread to go with this soup?
Try one of these favorite Italian Homemade Breads!

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

Pagnotta {Italian Round Country Bread}

Buon Appetito!

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