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Difference Between Orzo And Pastina

When it comes to soups, the smaller pasta shapes are often preferred as they are easier to eat and distribute throughout the dish.  

Common varieties of pasta that are used for soups include pastina and orzo.

The small sizes of these pasta varieties allow them to absorb flavors from the broth, and they are also perfect for the overall texture of the soup.  

Orzo and pastina come in different shapes which can be used to identify them. 

In this post, we learn about these two varieties of pasta, as well as what makes them different from each other.

Orzo vs pastina

Both varieties of pasta are made from semolina; however, they differ in shape.  

Orzo is a variety of pasta that is typically rice-shaped, while pastina comes in a variety of tiny pasta shapes. Pastina could be shaped like stars, alphabets or tiny tubes. 

Another thing to note is that even though both orzo and pastina are grouped as small pasta, orzo is noticeably larger in size compared to pastina, with a length that is about 5 times the diameter of pastina. 

Orzo also has a firmer texture and is more chewy compared to pastina.

What is orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta that resembles rice grains in shape.  

It is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.  

Like other varieties of pasta, orzo is typically made from semolina. Orzo can also be made from other forms of grains. 

This pasta can be found in various sizes, but it is typically about the size of a grain of rice. 

Orzo is versatile, and it can be used in dishes like soups, salads, and pilafs. Its small size allows it to absorb flavors well, making it a popular choice in a variety of recipes.  

Since orzo is made from semolina, it contains gluten. 

To prepare orzo, it is boiled in water for 8 to 10 minutes until it is al dente, then it is paired with soup or a sauce. 

What is pastina?

Pastina is a type of pasta that is typically small in size. It is often used in soups or broths.  

The name “pastina” means “little pasta” in Italian.  

Pastina actually refers to a broad group of small sized pasta varieties, and this pasta can come in various shapes, such as stars, alphabets, or shells.  

Orzo is sometimes categorized as a type of pastina due to its small size.  

However, what many people recognize as pastina are the alphabet and star-shaped pastas.  

Pastina is versatile and can be used in soups and other dishes.  

It is also easy to prepare. Cooking time may vary, but it is generally quick to prepare.