Archive for September 2011

Growing up in Italy, our mom always served pastina in brodo.  As a matter of fact, I still have my “recipe”.

Pastina in brodo recipe

 We now make it for our kids, but I don’t really measure.  
I add about 1 1/2 inches of water to my 4 quart soup pot  (approximately 6 cups) and heat until boiling.
Add two Vegetarian Bouillon cubes.  (Mom used the tiny cubes of chicken flavored bouillon but we like Knorr extra large cubes in this home.)
Add a few scoops of pastina pellets (Acini di pepe).   After adding the pasta turn down to lowest heat and cook until pastina is done, around 10 minutes.
Typically I buy Barilla brand pastas for my family, and they do make Pastina, but it’s star shaped. 
For this soup, I prefer what I grew up on which is the teeny tiny balls.  
You can find these from such brands as Ronzoni, Prince, Delallo, De Cecco, DaVinci and other Italian brands.   Look for Acini di pepe pasta or sometimes misspelled as Acine de pepe.  
Serve with parmesan cheese
If you want to be really authentic, put one wedge of The Laughing Cow creamy swiss cheese in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup over the soft cheese.  That’s how we liked it as toddlers, and how our daughter eats it in our home.   
I did a quick websearch and found this authentic recipe.  Grazie Barbara!
Here’s her translation into English. 

The kids were busy this weekend making forest fairies.  They turned out so cute!   

After feeding chipmunks with unsalted peanuts, we got an idea. 

The kids collected wooden toothpicks and then gathered a huge assortment of treasures from the woods:

pinecones of various sizes



sticks & twigs



The girls assembled the forest fairies, and attached the peanuts to the flower petal skirts with toothpicks. 

Petunia flowers and hosta flowers made good and sweet-smelling skirts. 

We also made shawls out of leaves and ferns. 

Besides the peanuts, black eyed susan flower middles made good heads. 

The boys helped make the house, which consisted of twig walls, fortified by pinecones, a hosta leaf roof, leaf beds, and flower trees outside.

It turned out fabulous!