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Forget your Grandma’s chicken noodle soup. TikTok says that when you’re sick, you should reach for this pastina recipe. And with extreme cold snaps occurring across the country, there has never been a better time to stay indoors and cuddle up with comfort food.
This simple pasta recipe features itty-bitty pasta, chicken broth, butter and fresh parmesan. But even though it might not include sophisticated ingredients, TikTokers agree that this viral pastina recipe is like an emotional support animal for the body and soul.
Watch culinary guru @giannanebbia prepare pastina on TikTok below:
@giannanebbia Name a better sick food #sickfood #pastina #italianfood #foodtiktok #comfortfood ♬ original sound – Gianna
The video quickly gained over 1.5 million views. Commenters left sentimental replies, saying the recipe is an “Italian cure-all” that brings to mind memories of their childhood, and that the simple, homespun recipe evokes memories of being sick at home while your Grandma tenderly cares for you.
To make the viral “sick day” pastina, you bring around 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil (you can use veggie broth to keep it vegetarian). Then, add your 1.5 cups of pastina. While it cooks (it won’t take long to become al dente as the pasta shapes are so small), grate some fresh parmesan and beat one egg in a bowl.
After the pastina is cooked, turn off the stove. You will not need to strain the tiny pasta as the broth will evaporate into the pasta. Then, add your Parmesan and egg, fluffing up the pastina and mixing up everything nicely. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top or the zest of a lemon.
TikTokker @giannanebbia says she lives in the New York/New Jersey area, which makes it easy for her to find Italian specialties like pastina. But, if you’re looking for these adorable teeny noodles in another part of the country, you might not see it at your usual grocery store.
The good news is that you can find pastina easily online. The bad news is that it’s crazy-expensive. Due to supply issues, the pasta company Ronzoni recently stopped making its pastina. As a result it’s become hotly sought after, meaning that a simple 12-ounce box is now over $20 on Amazon.
Ronzoni Pastini is so beloved that there are even shirts on Etsy devoted to mourning the fact that it is no longer available.
However, Barilla offers pastina for a much more palatable $1.99 at grocery stores like Pick ‘n Save. You might also be able to find it at small local suppliers in your neighborhood, or you can buy tubettini pastina online from Italian-based pasta companies like Riscossa. They might not all be star-shaped (Riscossa’s is tube-shaped) but that’s okay. As long as it’s itty-bitty, and covered with cheese and pasta, it will be a heart-warming hug from the inside out.