One that evokes childhood memories of my mother’s cooking.
Pastina Chicken Soup brings back precious Italian childhood memories in her cucina.
- 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).