Brodo di Pollo con Pastina (Chicken Soup With Pastina)
Pastina means “tiny pasta,” and it’s often the first pasta shape Italian children are introduced to, typically cooked in broth. Pastina comes in a variety of shapes, like little stars and rounds. For this recipe, you can use any tiny shape you like, or use noodles broken into small pieces. Typically, the pastina is precooked in a separate pot and added to each soup bowl alongside shredded chicken, but this version cooks everything together for an easy one-pot meal. And this comforting chicken soup does not require premade or even store-bought broth: Instead, boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook in water with aromatics like onion, carrots, celery and garlic — and a good drizzle of olive oil — for a rich, flavorful broth that comes together fairly quickly.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
- 1large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), or to taste
- ½teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- 3large carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- 3large celery ribs, sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2teaspoons tomato paste
- ½cup pastina, such as Acini di Pepe, or orzo (about 4 ounces)
- ½cup finely chopped parsley
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
Step 1Place the chicken and 10 cups of water in a large pot. Partly cover and bring to a boil over high heat, keeping a close eye so that it doesn’t overflow and skimming off any foam that rises to the top.
Step 2Add the onion, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper; stir and allow to come back up to a gentle boil. Cover completely, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and tomato paste, stirring to incorporate the tomato paste. I ncrease the heat to high and allow to come back up to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
Step 3Remove the cooked chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the pastina to the soup, stir and increase the heat to high and allow to come back up to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the pasta according to the package instructions for al dente, stirring occasionally.
Step 4While the pasta cooks, shred the chicken with a fork. Add the shredded chicken and parsley to the soup, stir, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.