Pastina With Egg

by Renee on July 23, 2013

Pastina with Egg | Magnolia Days

A little seed was planted over a year ago. It wasn’t placed in the earth. It was a seed of inspiration that came from a conversation. A discussion of breakfast foods with my friend Terry brought to light something I never heard of before. Curiosity kept it cataloged in my mind and was filed along with so many other bits of inspiration. Then one day I spotted it in the store. It was either a new item or one I simply never noticed before. Either way, I knew I had to make pastina with egg.

Pastina is teeny tiny star-shaped pasta. Well, I don’t know if all pastina has that shape. It’s about the size of couscous, perhaps a smidgen larger. How they make pasta into such small shapes is beyond me. I know machines do most of it now. However, I’m thinking of it being done long ago by hand. Incredible.

I enjoyed how Terry talked about pastina for breakfast. Her words and expression conveyed it as special in more ways than one. Any recipe that evokes such wonderful memories is one I wanted to learn more about. I had the opportunity to talk about it with Terry’s mom when she recently visited for her grandson’s high school graduation. Virginia, or Ginny as many call her, was happy to share her knowledge and method. I took all she said in, added my own little twist, and got to cooking.

Pastina with Egg | Magnolia Days

My twist is using tarragon. Perhaps the cheese in it too. Fresh tarragon teams up with egg in the most delightful way. Parmesan seemed fitting since I believe the dish is Italian in origin. Forgive me Ginny and all those pastina with egg aficionados out there if my version is way off the standard. It is creamy, comforting, quick, and something I’ll enjoy often. Step aside hot cereal because there is a new breakfast star.

I’m dedicating this post to Ginny. This coming weekend she will be celebrating her 90th birthday. Wow. 90 years. That is really something to celebrate! Join me in wishing Ginny a big happy birthday and the very best to her on such a special day.

Pastina With Egg

15 minutes

Makes 1 serving

Pastina With Egg

  • 1/4 cup uncooked pastina pasta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pastina in a small saucepan according to the package instructions. Drain pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, beat together the egg, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup milk, and tarragon.

While the pasta is draining, melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat.

Add the drained pasta to the pan.

Pour in the egg mixture while stirring constantly. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese begins to melt (the egg will cook in the process).

Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in additional warm milk if desired for a creamier consistency.

Enjoy immediately.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious July 23, 2013 at 6:25 am

This brings back memories! We used to eat buttered pastina (my mother is Italian).

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Renee July 23, 2013 at 8:48 am

So glad it brought back memories for you. Time for you to enjoy it again.

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes July 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

Funny Renee, this sounds exactly like what we here call `ammunitions´, a tiny round pasta used in kid´s soups. The best part was using little broth and lots of cheese in it. I haven´t had it in decades!

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Renee July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Thanks Paula and now I have to check out “ammunitions”.

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Terry July 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

So sweet! Thank you!

Your twist sounds a lot like my Dad’s “soup” he used Parmesan and egg noodles…lots of butter and it was a creamy luscious delight. No tarragon, though. I seem to remember parsley on occasion.

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Renee July 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm

You are welcome Terry and you will have to tell me more about your dad’s soup.

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The Ninja Baker July 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm

How wonderful that at 90 one can still teach and pass along wisdom..And introduce pastina to the world via Magnolia Days. Thank you Terry. Thank you Renee for sharing this recipe and your twist with rosemary =)

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Renee July 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Yes, so wonderful she can still give her experience and knowledge to others at 90. She is a real special lady.

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Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) July 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

This sounds so soothing, and tarragon is an herb that I don’t use enough. Looks and sounds great!

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Renee July 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Thanks Amy!

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Anita at Hungry Couple July 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm

A big happy 90th to Ginny. Pastina brings back childhood memories of creamy, comforting pasta that doesn’t really seem like pasta. Oh, now I want some!

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Renee July 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Thank you Anita and I’m glad I helped bring back wonderful childhood memories for you.

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Bill July 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Pasta for breakfast! Yum! I’ve never made pastina and this looks like a simple and delicious recipe. Great post!

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Renee July 25, 2013 at 6:51 am

Thank you Bill!

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angela@spinachtiger July 25, 2013 at 12:02 am

My Italian grandmother made this for us all the time. I never saw it in print before. Thank you. It made me think of her.

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Renee July 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

You are welcome and I’m glad it brought back good memories of your grandmother.

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Dina July 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

nice recipe! my grandma used to make pastina for me when I was little. you’ve given me a craving for it now!

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Renee July 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Thanks Dina and nice to see it made you think of your grandmother.

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karen July 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hi Renee, Thanks so much for introducing Pastina to everyone. My italian Nana made it for me when I was little for breakfast.Also, if I was sick she would put homemade chicken broth in it.She always used the cheese but not any herbs but with the tarragon I think this would make a great side dish, kind of like polenta. This is a very comforting food to me and thank you for the fond memories.

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Renee August 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

So glad it brought back memories of your Nana. I’ll have to try it with chicken broth too.

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