Chicken Pastina with Egg has tiny pastina pasta, or stelline, simmered in rich chicken broth and combined with an egg, butter, and cheese for a delicious italian classic comfort food that takes only 10 minutes to make!
This simple pasta dish is comfort food in a bowl and just like your mom made. Grab your favorite bowl and make yourself up a warm and filling pasta meal with this best pastina recipe.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple: Pastina with egg, cheese, and butter. It's hard to think of more simple ingredients, but when they come together they make something so creamy and filling.
- Light, but filling: When eating it, it is easy to forget that there is only a bit of parmesan romano cheese in it. It reminds me a bit of the flavor of a good, homemade mac and cheese.
- Italian comfort food: This egg pastina is delicious and filling. I have found lots of cultures have their takes on simple recipes like pastina and the recipes that come to mind are Mexican Sopita, Egg Drop Soup and Kotosoupa Avgolemono. Egg Drop soup has no pasta or rice but has tender egg strands floating in chicken broth. In fact, some people even call pastina soup with egg, "pastina egg drop soup." Greek Kotosoupa Avgolemono (avgo- means "egg") reminds me of Italian pastina with egg, just with rice instead of pasta.
What does pastina mean?
Pastina literally means "little pasta" and it refers specifically to the small star shaped pasta. This tiny pasta is also referred to as stelline. Pastina is also the name of an italian dish, pastina with egg and cheese. There is another pastina recipe called chicken pastina soup. That pastina recipe is very similar, but has more broth in it and often has chicken pieces and a few veggies as well.
- Pastina pasta: Otherwise known as stelline. If you can't find it, any other similarly small pasta shape will work, such as acini de pepe or orzo.
- Egg: The egg is gently cooked right into the hot pasta. If you have never tried it before, you will be amazed at just how creamy and delicious it is!
- Chicken broth: No water here! The pasta is simmered in rich chicken broth to flavor it from the inside out.
- Butter: Just a bit at the end to finish it off and add creaminess.
- Parmesan cheese: For a pinch of nuttiness and saltiness.
- Black pepper: This is optional, but I love the bite it gives to the dish.
Variations and Add-ins
Everyone has a different version of pastina that "their mom used to make" or that they think is the "best pastina recipe." All of these versions of pastina are delicious in their own right. Feel free to adjust this recipe and try adding milk, spinach, lemon, or more chicken broth to your pastina recipe.
- Chicken soup pastina. Some people make a pastina recipe that is more like chicken soup, called pastina en brodo, where it is heavier on the broth and there is generally a mirepoix added. This type of chicken pastina also generally has shredded chicken in it.
- Add lemon. I'm never one to shy away from lemon juice on just about anything. In fact, I always have a costco bag of about 15 lemons in my fridge to used for recipes or squeezing on top of dishes. Lemon juice in pastina with egg and chicken broth is no different. Adding lemon to pastina makes it even more like Greek avgolemono.
- Add milk. I have come across several recipes that call for milk. I personally think the pastina without milk is creamy enough, but you can add a splash or two if you would like!
- Add spinach. A lot of recipes for pastina, call for fresh spinach. I love this idea, as the tender spinach mirrors the tender pastina and egg. Pastina with egg and spinach is totally worth a try. I would add one cup of lightly packed fresh baby spinach that has been roughly chopped, added in right before you turn off the heat.
How do you make pastina with egg
Step 1. In a small saucepan or pot, add broth and bring it up to a soft boil. Add pastina to the broth and simmer until cooked through and the broth is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.
Step 2. Once the pastina pasta is cooked through, turn off the heat and add one whole egg to the pastina and broth.
Step 3. Gently and quickly fold the egg in so that it combines with the stelline pasta and doesn't scramble into too big of pieces.
Step 4. Add butter and cheese and allow them to melt. Top with more cheese, salt and black pepper, if desired.
See recipe card below for full ingredient list and instructions.
Pastina for baby
You may have heard that pastina makes a great first food for babies. Similar to rice cereal, pastina with egg is easy to digest and soft for babies gums. Pastina with egg for baby is filling for their little tummies, but with some added nutrients, as well. Eggs are considered a great first food for babies, and tiny pastina pasta is soft and easy to swallow, even without teeth.
If you would like to make a more simple baby pastina recipe, you can omit the parmesan cheese and pepper. There is some butter in this recipe, which you can omit as well. Most doctors consider butter a safe ingredient for babies to have in small quantities.
My toddler absolutely adored this pastina recipe and kept asking for more. So this recipe can work equally as well for toddlers (and everyone!).
Pastina is best eaten fresh and it's so simple to make that it doesn't take much time to do so. The delicate egg is just barely cooked (the heat has already been turned off at that point) and recooking it to heat it back up, may affect the texture. If you do need to refrigerate it, it should last 2-3 days.
You can totally make pastina for babies. Pastina with egg is a great first food because its soft and easily digestible!
Most grocery stores carry pastina pasta, but it can be a little difficult to track down. Barilla makes pastina as well as the Good and Gather brand from Target, however the Target version is a little larger in size than traditional pastina.
Pastina is a generic term for small pasta shapes but it is also another word for stelline, or star-shaped, pasta. While orzo is a specific type of pasta shaped like rice. Pastina is smaller and used in soups, while orzo is larger and versatile for various recipes. In many cases, pastina is used to describe the dish in which stelline pasta is used.
If you tried this Egg Pastina Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love to hear from you.
Chicken Pastina with Egg
- ½ cup pastina pasta or some other similarly small pasta shape
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
- black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- In a small saucepan or pot, add broth and bring it up to a soft boil.
- Add pastina to the broth and simmer until cooked through and the broth is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes. You may have to add more broth depending on how much has been absorbed.
- Once the pastina pasta is cooked through, turn off the heat and add one whole egg to the pan. Gently and quickly fold the egg in so that it combines with the stelline pasta and doesn't scramble in too big of pieces.
- Add butter and cheese and allow them to melt. Top with more cheese, salt and black pepper, if desired.