Pastina Comforts All Ages

Pastina with butter, sugar and milk in a bowl


Well, in our family growing up, there wasn’t a week that went by without a bowl of warm, velvety Pastina! Also called Acini de Pepe (“little pasta”), my Mom would always make some for us either for breakfast or when we were sick. Memories of the pasta boiling away, and Mom getting out the sugar, milk and butter makes my heart happy! (Not to mention my belly!)

Pastina with butter, sugar and milk in a bowl

So simple to make, it just takes 10 minutes to boil the pasta, drain, and serve up in a bowl with a tab of butter, teaspoon or so of sugar, and a little milk. Mixing it around and watching the butter melt in while the pasta is still hot and steam is coming off the bowl will always comfort me. There wasn’t one Italian family that didn’t have this little pasta in their repertoire of recipes! 

Pastina boiling in the pot


Each family would have a slightly different version, with my Mom making it creamy and sweet, and my grandmother making it with butter and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Oh and adding nutmeg just finishes it off! Yum! It’s also a great pasta for babies and young children, too! I’ve also put it in my Escarole (Wedding) Soup, served it as a side to chicken or fish, or cold in a green bean salad! The possibilities are endless! 

Pastina in a bowl with butter, sugar and milk and cheese

Pastina can be a little hard to find, and we’ve always had the Ronzoni’s brand. However, I have heard they may be discontinuing it! Uh oh! I must stock up! Let me know what you remember about Pastina, or if you have recipe ideas! 

Pastina with butter, sugar and milk in a bowl with cheese and nutmeg

Until next time,

Let’s get cookin’ together,


Creamy Pastina or "Acini di Pepe" (Little Pasta)

This pasta dish with a couple variations brings back so many memories growing up in an Italian family. You will love the simplicity and ease of making this pasta dish for all ages!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: AcinidiPepe, creamypastina, easypastarecipe, littlepasta, pastina, velvetypastadish
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Madeline Kohler


  • 1 4 - 8 Quart Pot with Lid


  • 8 ounces dry Acini di Pepe (Pastina) pasta
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 4 ounces milk
  • 4 tbsp grated cheese (I use Pecorino Romano)
  • sprinkle of nutmeg optional


  • Boil pasta according to instructions (usually about 10 minutes).
  • Drain pasta and return to pot.
  • Add butter, milk and sugar.
  • Toss and serve immediately.
  • In place of the sugar, you can substitute grated cheese and nutmeg.


Pastina boiling in the pot Pastina with butter, sugar and milk in a bowl

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