Pastina with Egg and Cheese, Otherwise Known As Comfort Food


I love the general category of comfort food. You know what I mean: buttered toast. Cream of Wheat. Chicken noodle soup. I could go on and on. Sometimes it is the only thing that will do when you are feeling blue, or tired, or overwhelmed by the busy-ness of it all. Or maybe you just want to be 5 years old again, for a few minutes. Anyway, I have my little repertoire of meals (usually for just me!) that fall into this category, and I was delighted to run across a new one the other day in this book I just finished reading.

It is called I LOVED, I LOST, I ATE SPAGHETTI, by Guilia Melucci. For all of you who read EAT, PRAY, LOVE it is basically the same type of book, only this time the EAT and the LOVE parts are combined. And scattered throughout this book are Guila’s various recipes for this that and the other thing, mainly Italian dishes. I bookmarked five or six that I am going to try at some point, but this one I knew I wanted to make right away. It has been that kind of week!

The basic components are pretty simple: pastina, egg, butter, cheese, salt and pepper. It cooks up in about 5 minutes start to finish, and turns into a creamy, slightly cheesy concoction that needs to be eaten with a spoon. I ladled mine into my Peter Rabbit bowl, settled into my favorite chair outside, and immediately felt much better. So if you are looking for a good book to read give this a try:


And the next time you need a little pick-me-up, cook up some of this. Preferably served in a Peter Rabbit bowl.

Pastina with Egg and Cheese, Otherwise Known As Comfort Food
Serves: 1 servings
  • ¼ cup pastina
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. Bring one cup of water to boil in small saucepan.
  2. Add pastina and salt and cook until most of the water is absorbed, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in egg, letting it cook in the hot pasta.
  4. Add butter, cheese and pepper. Eat slowly out of your favorite bowl with your favorite spoon.
  5. Feel much better.



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  1. says

    Well I didn’t make this today as I said I would (b/c of lack of Pastina) but I seriously had a DREAM about this last night. I was frantically searching for Pastina. That means I definitely need to make this soon.

  2. says

    Let me know how you like it! The second time I made it, I cut the pastina (and water) in half to let the egg play a bigger part in all of it — it was a little different but still SO great! By the way, I just love your blog. Your photography is spectacular, and someday I need to ask you how you get your pictures to display so nice and big on your blog…

  3. says

    I love pastina! I make a similar dish I just pulled out of my own wearied neurons one night, with pastina, low-fat Kraft, a dash of milk, and salt/pepper. Oh so delicious, it’s surely an Italian salve for frazzled brain cells. BTW, I hav a Peter Rabbit bowl, too. Oh, and a Raggedy Ann one, as well.

  4. Stella says

    I loved this recipe! It was amazing! Except, I was really hungry so I doubled all the ingredients for a bigger serving! Thank you for posting this! My aunt makes this for me all the time when I’m sick but she never tells me the recipe! HA

  5. says

    I doubled the recipe, so I could share it with my toddler. We used little star shaped pastina, which really tickled the girls fancy.

    I used chicken broth instead of water. We didn’t have parm cheese, so I threw a handful of mozza in instead.

    Oh my god this was SO GOOD! I’m addicted.

  6. Anonymous says

    My Grandma used to make this for me all the time. I cook it for myself and it brings me right back to my childhood in her kitchen. Hands down one of my all time favorite meals!

  7. Ben B says

    My grandma used to make this and it was the greatest thing ever ! she would make it a little soupier so add more water. Otherwise great recipe. could never get her to give me the recipe my italian family doesn’t believ in real measurements – only pinches, and smidgeons, etc…

  8. Anonymous says

    My auntie used to make this for me and I never knew what it was called till a few weeks ago and can’t wait to try it :)

  9. JC says

    Just wanted to say thank you for posting this! I could never remember how my italian grandmother made this and to find this on your site made me so happy. I can now replicate what she made for us as young children. I can’t thank you enough.

    • Kate says

      I’m so glad! It always makes me extra happy when one of my recipes is something that reminds folks of their childhood. :)

  10. Anna says

    Thanks so much for posting this! A treasure. My grandmother used to make this for me…it was the best thing, EVER. And I could never remember how she did it. I knew she didn’t boil and drain the pastina. Am going to make this for my niece and nephew immediately, and tell them all about how she made it for me.

  11. Sylvie says

    I was looking for a recipe to finish my box of pastina for babies, and this is delicious. I made this for lunch today for my baby and he loves it. I stole the leftovers for my lunch! I never knew what to make with pastina, now i know and will need to buy more. Thank you.

  12. GPF says

    Totally ruined one of the only memories I have of my grandmother before she became ill…. I really thought this was OUR! family recipe straite from Italy.. Im kidding though im glad other people have discovered this deliscious treat.. I do treat myself to it once in a while (prob not enough) I am an exec chef and this is my all time favorite comfort food… One of those things noone else in my family will eat so I get to have it all to myself.. Btw this is the first and prob last time Ive commented on anyones article. This just tickeled me to the bone, thank you so much for transporting me back to grams kitchen.

    • Kate says

      I’m so glad – there are some foods that are so forever linked to our grandmothers! For me it is her molasses cookies! Happy to bring back good memories. :)

  13. Will D says

    I have been eating this for 50 years. I also make it with just chicken broth, garlic powder and butter. I guess it reminds of being little again as that was what I ate when I was a baby. The one with just the chicken broth, garlic powder and butter was for the kids and the grown ups had the egg cheese and black pepper version.Me and my brother would get a soft boiled egg with ours and mash it up in it! The yolk ran all over it…delicious!

  14. Joyce Ventura says

    I had a little Italian couple who my husband and I dearly loved. They are now pass on.

    He used to cook all the time. And this was one of the dishes he made. I was looking for it on line and then I clicked on this . They called him peter rabbit . To my suprize that is what is on the bowl. He used to make bigger portions. Used about a cup of cheese and 6 beaten eggs.

    We just loved this.

  15. Amy Trapp says

    I have been eating pastina for close to 60 years. It is very, very hard to find in grocery stores. Anyway, my mom used to make this for us when we were sick. Now when my stomach is on the blink My husband makes it for me with chicken broth and copious amounts of shredded cheese melted into the pastina. Reminds me of my childhood and is a fantastic binder. Going to try your egg recipe or that with the soft-boiled egg, too. Yummmmm! Thanks for the post.

  16. Deanne says

    Hi! Do you happen to know if this freezes well? Thinking about making a large batch and freezing into individual meals for my twins. I have the same Peter Rabbit Bowl!

  17. lori preisinger says

    i grew up on this and it was the first solid food we give our children , best comfort food around and i like mine thick

    • Kate says

      Me TOO! I also love it as a light supper after big holiday feasts, so it will definitely be making an appearance this weekend. :)

  18. Jessi says

    You made this look so yummy on the blog, then so many people raved in the comments that I HAD to drop everything and locate the little Italian grocery store in my town so I could get my hands on some pastina and make this.

    You all weren’t kidding. YUM! New favorite quick comfort food.

    • Kate says

      Yes! This is my go-to comfort foods of all comfort foods! When things get really crazy I have been known to put a poached egg on top, too. :)

  19. Diane Bernard says

    I was intrigued by this recipe. Being raised Irish/Italian this dish never made an appearance. I made it. I loved it. I crave it. My initial mistake was not following the cook times on the box of ancini di pepe that I bought so my first attempt was just a tad too aldente. No problem.. it still tasted so good! The next time I added a little bit of fresh chopped spinach and finely chopped black olives. Absolutely devine! I now will be making the basic recipe for my grandchildren and the other version for me and my hubby.

  20. Cindy says

    I spent the morning trying to deside what to have for breakfast and nothing sounded good, till I pulled out the pastina, I then sat down in front of my computer and luckly found your recipe. It was yummy!
    Since my husband is working from home today, I tripled it and used one of the pods of Knorrs Homestyle Chicken Stock. Perfect comfort food for this rainy day.
    Thank you!

  21. Deanne Carroll says

    Hi, I just wanted to post an update. My twin toddlers love this! It also freezes really well into cubes. :) I started feeding this to them at about 12 months.


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