Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Tiny pieces of pasta, often cooked in soups or used as baby food.

Etymologies

Italian, diminutive of pasta, pasta; see pasta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Acini di pepe, also called pastina, is Italian for peppercorns, and they look like tiny beads.

    Freep.com - RSS

  • It will not work with conventional couscous, but pearl barley or pastina can be substituted and cooked according to the instructions on their packages.

    One Big Table

  • Far superior to orza or rice or even pastina which should only be eaten when you are sick and mom keeps you home from school.

    TV alert. UPDATE: Cancelled.

  • For this week's Presto Pasta Night, generously hosted each week by Ruth from Once Upon a Feast, I'll be using pastina

    Presto Pasta Night #33

  • My nonna's chicken broth with pastina - that's my desert island dish.

    Archive 2005-07-01

  • So I've devised what you might call a mock risotto, in which acini di pepe (a pastina, or little pasta, named for its peppercorn shape) is cooked directly in the soup, absorbing all of its sweet, oniony flavor.

    Serious Eats

  • It wouldn't be French onion soup without the cheese, so I stir some grated Parmesan into the finished pastina and top it with a Parmesan crisp.

    Serious Eats

  • My grandmother always made “pastina soup” with it and because I can’t find Israeli couscous, I just use this instead.

    pearl couscous with olives and roasted tomatoes | smitten kitchen

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Comments

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  • Maybe your local stores don't carry it, but we still have it around here. Yum. :-)

    March 24, 2010

  • Yes, I know that small pasta shapes are available, but I'm talking about the actual box that says "pastina" on it and contains small star-shaped pasta. You know, the kind I had as a child.

    Guess I'll look for a box next time I'm in the old stomping grounds.

    March 24, 2010

  • Pastine is a generic term for tiny pasta shapes. Well, here (in Italy) it is. The shapes themselves have specific names like stelline (star-shaped), tempestine (globs, IMHO), etc. They're certainly still available here :-)

    March 23, 2010

  • I can't seem to find this anymore. Do they still make it? The little star-shaped things? This was a coming-home-from-kindergarten lunch that Mom used to make.

    March 23, 2010