The Italian equivalent to Chicken Noodle Soup is Minestrina, the Italian Feel Better Soup. Simple yet delicious. Made with just a few ingredients including fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Whenever one of us wasn’t feeling well, my Mom would make chicken noodle soup or when we had the flu and our stomachs were off. We were always served toast spread with Jam, butter was a no no and the crusts were always cut off.
She would serve it on one of those trays with the little legs and the best part was we got to eat in bed!
Well here in Italy it is a little different. Whenever anyone was not well my mother-in-law would cook up some Minestrina and the occasional Mulled Wine.
- Pasta – any small pasta or even broken spaghetti
- Mozzarella – fresh mozzarella cubed
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- Olive oil – for drizzling
How to make it
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook past al dente. Do not throw away the water.In 3-4 soup bowls add some cubed fresh mozzarella, top with drained pasta and some pasta water, top with more cubed mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
What is the difference between Minestrone and Minestrina?
They both usually have pasta in them, but Minestrone is full of vegetables and usually made in a broth. Minestrina is very simple with few ingredients including mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Can it be made in broth?
You can definitely cook the pasta in a vegetable or even meat broth if you prefer. I like a thicker Minestrina but if you prefer more of a soupier type then using broth is a great idea.
How to make homemade broth
In a large pot add a carrot and an onion peeled and cut in half, a celery stalk cut in two, a bay leaf, 2-3 pepper corns, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt and 12 cups of water. If you want to make a beef broth then add a few pieces of meat (bone in is a good idea).
Bring it to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about three hours. Stir occasionally and remove any foam that appears on the top of the broth. Pour the broth through a sieve, place it back in the pot, bring to a boil and cook the pasta or cook the pasta in water and instead of adding water to the bowls add broth.
Any unused broth can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in freezer safe containers and will keep for up to 6 months.
How to store it
This type of soup is always best eaten when made. Although if you have leftovers, add some of the liquid and place in an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 2 days.
How much dry pasta to cooked pasta
Pasta usually doubles in size when cooked, so for the recipe you will need approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dried small pasta to make 3 cups cooked.
So when I sat down to this incredibly simple bowl of ditaloni (small pasta), a generous helping of small cubes of fresh mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, I knew I would not mind ever being sick.
In fact, there have been quite a few days when I have served a big bowl of Minestrina. At the beginning the Italian would ask “who’s sick”, “No one, I just love the stuff”. Buon Appetito!
More delicious Italian soups
Minestrina Italian Feel Better Soup
- 3 cups small pasta cooked (ditaloni or any small pasta including cut up spaghetti)
- 2 fresh mozzarella (cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
- In a large pot of salted boiling water cook past al dente. Do not throw away the water. Or if you prefer you can cook the pasta in vegetable broth, either homemade or store bought or add the broth to the bowls instead of pasta water.
- In 3-4 soup bowls add some cubed fresh mozzarella, top with drained pasta and some pasta water or broth, top with more cubed mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Stir it up and enjoy!
Although this was very delicate in flavor, still very good
Thankyou for sharing this!
Hi Vickie, thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Take care!
Catherine Pasquinucci says
My mom always made me rice pudding with toast when I was sick. If I was at grandma’s and sick it was chicken soup and a cup of hot licorice root tea with honey, lemon and brandy for sore throat and cough, even though I was young, and it worked and helped me get some sleep. Better than the chemical laden nyquil for sure, and tasted good. I love old school cold/flu remedies. And toast is very good for a bad tummy. The brat diet (banana, rice, apples and toast) is a winner for a sick tummy! Thanks for this recipe, it’s on my must try list for winter!😊
Hi Catherine, my Mom always made toast and jam (without butter) served with ginger ale. And yes natural and old school is better than the pharmacy stuff. Let me know how you like it.
April @ Girl Gone Gourmet says
Our “feel better” meal growing up was always a can of chicken noodle soup and a tall glass of 7-Up – it’s how we rolled in Wyoming 🙂 Love this story, Rosemary – can’t wait to give this a try 🙂
Hi April, you got 7 up and we got ginger ale, I miss that stuff. Every time I get on the airplane that is the first thing I ask for, Ginger Ale. Let me know what you think. Have a great week.
Looks like heaven in a bowl to me!
Hi Pam, thanks I totally agree.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
I think all moms are of the mind to give their loved one soup, especially when they are sick. My mamma swore that it would cure everything. Your soup sounds delicious.
Hi Marisa, yes so true. Thank you.