One that evokes childhood memories of my mother’s cooking.
Pastina Chicken Soup brings back precious Italian childhood memories in her cucina.
In Italy, the term Pastina means the smallest pasta shapes.
- 12 cups chicken broth ***
- 2 2-inch piece of Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 cup pastina (any tiny, tiny pasta shape)
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken, preferably breast meat (optional, my family does not include)
- 2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt to taste
- In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth (preferably home-made) and Parmesan rind to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tiny pastina noodles and cook until the pasta is tender for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken if using, and heat through about 3 minutes.
- Remove the Parmesan rind and discard.
- Stir in 1/2 of the cheese.
- Season with sea salt to taste.
- Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, if desired.
- Serve with warm, crusty Italian bread for sopping up any extra broth.
*** HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN BROTH
- One 12-pound chicken (hen)
- 2 package (beef) soup bones (if you can get them)
- 2 4-pound beef roast
- 6 carrots, cut in 3’s
- 2 large onion, cut in 1/4’s
- 6 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds
- 1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
- Give that chicken a nice bath (clean it) and empty the contents of the cavity inside.
- Cut up into large pieces so that it cooks a little bit faster than if you cook it whole.
- Cut up all of your veggies.
- Cut your beef roast up into about 2 or 3 large sections.
- Fill a LARGE deep pot half way full of water.
- Make sure that you have enough room from the top of the pot to put the rest of the ingredients in without overflowing the water.
- Put all of the ingredients into the pot of water.
- Cut fresh Italian parsley from my garden just minutes before chopping it up and putting it into the pot…..it is fresh, fresh, fresh!
- Bring up the heat to high and get it to a low, rolling boil.
- Immediately lower the heat and simmer until the beef is tender.
- During this simmer, continually remove the junky stuff that rises to the top with a strainer.
- The cooking on simmer and straining process takes about 2 – 3 hours.
- Take all of the ingredients out of the broth with a hand strainer.
- With very thin tea towels covering a colander/strainer, pour the broth through them into another pot……this is a lot of work and usually needs two people to do this.
- Be careful, the broth is very hot while you do this!
- Continue to strain the broth into clean tea towels about two more times until the broth is completely clear and free of any ingredient remains.
- Taste, add more salt to taste.
- If you make this the night before, refrigerate it, and then the next day, skim off any fat/grease from the top (it will solidify in the frig and be very easy to remove).