Instant Pot Pastina Porridge

Pastina are tiny little pasta stars that are usually hit with some cream and Parmesan cheese, giving it a simple, yet grand treatment. It’s sort of the polenta of the pasta world. Many an Italian will tell you it’s one of their favorite comfort foods which brings back memories of family and joy. Since this pasta cooks very quickly and is quite delicate, my version for the Instant Pot is going to give you more of a porridge treatment where I use a larger broth to pasta ratio where the results are like a rich, thick soup at the end. A final kiss of premium dairy and some optional eggs and marinara send it over the top. Pastina Porridge is one of the newest go-to bowls of bliss and Goldilocks is now always knocking on this bear’s door.

Pastina Porridge

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Instant Pot Pastina Porridge

Pressuring the Pastina

Pastina in Instant Pot
First thing’s first. Grabs some pastina
…which is an tiny, adorable star-shaped pasta. Add it to the Instant Pot.
Then, add some broth of your choice.
Stirring broth with pastina
Stir the two together, secure the lid and cook at high pressure (yes, it is just that easy).

The Finishing Touches

Pressure cooked pastina
When done, it will look like this. A bit soupy which is exactly how it should as it is being done porridge-style after all. (NOTE: If liquid spurts out of the valve upon quick releasing due to the starch from the pasta, place a dish rag or paper towels over the valve to sop it up and avoid any mess).
Adding cream to pastina
Time to put on the finishing touches! Add some cream…
Adding grated Parmesan to pastina
…grated Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano cheese…
Adding herb cheese to pastina
herb cheese
Adding pepper to pastina
…and pepper.

To Make It Truly Luxurious…

Adding egg to pastina
These next two ingredients are optional but I think they add a truly fabulous touch. Add a couple beaten eggs…
Adding marinara sauce to pastina
…and marinara sauce (use your favorite brand).
Stirring the pastina with everything in it
Stir until all is combined.
Pastina in ladle
You can either serve it immediately where it will be a bit soupier/thinner or you can wait a few minutes where it will thicken up some as it rests. The choice is yours!
Pastina in bowl
When you’re ready to dig in, place some in a bowl and feel free to top it off with more pepper and cheese.

The Taste Test

Man trying pastina
Now comes time to taste all the feels.
Man eating pastina
Go on. Play that game of airplane.
Man looking happy
And, no joke, this is very likely what your face will look like after one spoonful. Pastina Porridge – sheer joy!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Pastina Porridge

Instant Pot Pastina Porridge

Pastina are tiny little pasta stars that are usually hit with some cream and Parmesan cheese, giving it a simple, yet grand treatment. It's sort of the polenta of the pasta world. Many an Italian will tell you it's one of their favorite comfort foods which brings back memories of family and joy.

Since this pasta cooks very quickly and is quite delicate, my version for the Instant Pot is going to give you more of a porridge treatment where I use a larger broth to pasta ratio where the results are like a rich, thick soup at the end. A final kiss of premium dairy and some optional eggs and marinara send it over the top. Pastina Porridge is one of the newest go-to bowls of bliss and Goldilocks is now always knocking on this bear's door.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the broth and pastina to the Instant Pot and stir well.
  2. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes. Quick release when done (NOTE: If liquid spurts out of the valve upon quick releasing due to the starch from the pasta, place a dish rag or paper towels over the valve to sop it up and avoid any mess).
  3. Add the cream, grated cheese, herb cheese and black pepper to the pastina in the pot. Stir until fully melded and combined.
  4. If using (and I suggest you do), crack the egg into it and stir for 30 seconds along with the marinara sauce.
  5. Let rest for 2-10 minutes before serving (see Jeff’s Tips) and top with additional pepper and Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

The longer the pastina rests when done, the more it will continue to absorb everything around it as it gets larger and thickens. If you want it thinner, simply add more cream.

If you want this spicier, add 1-2 teaspoons of white pepper (more pungent and fragrant than black) and/or crushed red pepper flakes as well as black in Step 3 when adding the final ingredients.

To reheat any leftovers (although it actually also tastes amazing cold) and if you want it creamier, add additional cream or milk to the pastina when reheating to reconstitute the sauce.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Robin

    Yum! My Italian (“same behavior different savior” 🤣) grandmother used to make this for me when I was a kid! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  2. Gail

    I have whole wheat orzo, can I use it in place of the pastina? Would I need to adjust the cooking time? Thanks for all the great recipes!

  3. Jim Paulson

    Jeffery, Fantastic as usual, can’t wait to try this recipe! Could you tell me the approximate number of servings that this recipe will yield? Thanks again!

  4. Debi

    Hi Jeffery! Can I add less of the Boursin? If I eat that much of it in a dish, my digestive system becomes a race track, ifyaknowwhatimean! 😳 I experienced this after making your Zappa Toscana – delicious but slightly disastrous for me! Love the Boursin, but too much of it is no bueno for me. ANYway, can I add maybe half, and/or replace part with something else? Thank you!

  5. SUE ELLEKER

    Jeffery
    I’ve made this twice, and it’s delicious; but it’s very liquid. Even after standing, it’s definitely a soup rather than a porridge. I follow the recipe exactly, including the egg. Should I use less stock?

    • Jeffrey

      It will definitely thicken the more it rests. But to “quicken the thicken,” so to speak, just add more Parmesan!

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