Saturday, June 20, 2009
Pastina for the wee ones: And those of us who still want our mommies
I am not sure it is the swine flu, though my fifteen year old insists it is. I think it is a bad case of final exams and a bit of boyfriend angst. The rest of us are feeling fine... the seven year old is still screaming about the unfairness of life, and the baby is ... well she is just screaming. It is what she does best. Though we don't get sick much here, the thing I notice right away is the absolute silence of a house with feverish, sleepy children. That is not my current situation, and therefore I am holding off on giving into my oldest's attempts to partake in the pandemic.
That noted, she still feels sick, and part of my job is to make her feel better. I am not a gushy mommy. I don't run out to the store and buy books and magazines. I don't get puffs plus. I straighten their sheets, adjust their pillows, put them in bed, grab an antique porcelain basin (in case of random puking) and keep them hydrated. That is that. No coddling here.
But besides ginger ale, there is one other item that I make sure that I provide. The pastina.
Pastina is baby pasta in the shape of stars. Often confused with acini de pepe, which are little round balls. For this recipe, use the stars.
1 box pastina
Medium sauce pan filled with salted water
Bring water to boil. Put pastina in and stir. Turn down the heat, it will boil over if you don't. And by the way... NEVER cover any sort of pasta once it is in the pot. Ever. That is a stove killer.
The pastina will begin to bubble up like porridge when it is done. You are not going to want to drain this. Somewhat like cooking rice (though wetter and mushier. When it is done it will be a bit soupy and the pastina will be soft.
Turn the heat to low. Put in a half stick of butter. Add a quick shake of garlic powder. Add Cheese, more salt, and pepper to taste.
Now the trick. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Turn off the hot pastina. Pour the eggs into the pot and stir very fast ( a whisk works nicely here)
The egg will get cooked by the hot pasta.
What you have is the ultimate comfort food. Food that will make your children feel better, food that you can make for yourselves when you need or miss a mommy.
And it is cheap and easy too! Make a quick salad and you have a regular meal!
See you Monday!