Pastina in Brodo (Pasta in Chicken Broth)

La Pasta - Pasta dishes
SERVES 4
  • 1 x small onion finely sliced
  • 1 x large carrot roughly diced (around 1 inch)
  • 1 x celery stick roughly diced (around 1 inch)
  • 200g chopped tin tomatoes
  • 1 x small whole chicken
  • 160g pastina pasta
  • 2 litres of cold water
  • Salt & Pepper

Growing up Pastina in Brodo was a regular dish in our household and each grandparent had their own version of how they made it. Nonna Strazzanti would add 1 small potato roughly cubed in hers to thicken up the brodo (broth) and at the very end she would add in one whisked whole egg and swirl it through the broth just before serving.

Our Nonno Forte would take a whole chicken, add in all the veg and let it simmer away for a good few hours so the broth took on all the flavours intensely. He would then remove the chicken and add in the pastina into the brodo and cook until perfectly al dente. We would then eat the pastina in brodo for our primo piatto and then the cooked chicken with salad and bread for our secondo piatto. Warm memories of our Sunday lunches together at home.

Method

Take a large saucepan with a lid and place to one side. Prepare the vegetables by cleaning and chopping into roughly 1 inch cubes. We tend to keep the skin on the carrots and wash them really well to keep as many nutrients in as possible

Add the prepared onions, carrots, celery, tinned tomatoes and the whole chicken into the saucepan and fill with approx 2 litres of water until the chicken is covered, a tsp of table salt and bring to a boil.

Tip* Where you can use free range and organic chicken not only for ethical and environmental reasons but this will also make a difference to the final taste of the broth.

Once the broth has come to a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 1.5 hours. After 1.5 hours of cooking, check if the chicken is cooked.

Tip* The chicken should easily fall off the bone when cooked, if not then continue to cook for a further 20 -30 minutes, this all depends on the size of the chicken itself.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the broth and taste the broth for seasoning, if required add more salt. Take the pastina, or any small pasta; Nonno used to take the niggly leftover spaghetti we had lying around which wasn’t quite enough for a portion of pasta on its own and break that up into small pieces to save on any wastage and use that!

Tip* Remember the broth must be well seasoned with salt to cook the pasta properly. See our 5 top tips on how to cook pasta here.

Cook the pasta in the brodo for the cooking time stated on the pack. Once cooked, leave the brodo to rest for 10 minutes, before serving.

To serve, ladle the pastina in brodo into a large bowl, season with cracked black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and if you like it a grating of parmesan cheese and serve the chicken for seconds with salad and potatoes.

Buon appetito!

Discover more recipes for your leftover turkey here.

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