Pastina is an old family classic that will become a favorite in your household too! It's an Italian classic comfort food that makes a perfect side dish, lunch for the kiddos, or even a lighter full meal!
Measure 3 cups of broth or water into a saucepan. Add the pastina and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
You will not be draining the pasta, so check the liquid level frequently and add more as needed.
When the pasta is mostly cooked, there should be a small amount of liquid left in the pan.
Add the rest of the ingredients, besides the lemon, and stir until the cheese is melted and everything is combined.
There will be streaks of cooked egg white in the pastina, that is normal.
Squeeze in the juice from half of a lemon, stir, and taste. Adjust seasonings and lemon to your taste. I like a lot of lemon juice.
Pastina is sometimes labeled acini de pepe in the store, both are the same and will work great in this dish. 12 oz is usually the weight measurement on 1 box. You will not be draining this pasta, so only add as much water or broth as you need. I like the additional flavor chicken broth adds but you can use water or vegetable broth as well. Any cheese you have on hand will probably work in this dish. My mom always used american cheese but I don't usually have that on hand so I throw in a couple slices of whatever is around. If you don't have any parm, just leave it out. Since we just crack the egg right into the hot pasta without tempering it (bringing it up to the temperature of the pasta slowly) it will start to cook immediately and leave white streaks of cooked egg white through the pastina.