Mystery of the Missing Pasta
January 28, 2008 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find pastina, that tiny star-shaped pasta usually used in soups, somewhere in Orange County, CA. For some reason it seems to have disappeared off the shelves of the local supermarkets. (Albertsons and Ralphs are the two I've checked.) It's my husband's favorite comfort food and he has the flu right now, so I know he could use a little comfort. Any recommendations on stores that might carry it? (I'm in Huntington Beach if that helps.)
posted by platinum to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
I usually see dried bags of star-shaped pasta in stores which carry Mexican groceries. I think their shape is called stelline though, so it might not be the same size as your pastina.
posted by jamaro at 4:48 PM on January 28, 2008

I think Trader Joes sell it.
posted by parmanparman at 4:59 PM on January 28, 2008

Wonderful! There's a TJ's near me, I'll check there first and if I don't have any luck, I'll start checking the Mexican grocery sections. Thank you for making my husband's day slightly less miserable! :)
posted by platinum at 5:35 PM on January 28, 2008

Try Santa Fe Importers. The main store (and warehouse and etc) is in Long Beach Harbor (on Santa Fe Avenue), but they've also got a store in Seal Beach (on Seal Beach Blvd, just north of the 405).

Angelo's Italian Deli in Belmont Shore might have your pasta, too. Or maybe the Angelo's in Seal Beach will and that's a mile or two closer to you.

Beyond those two, google up a Gelson's or Bristol Farms near you. Upscale grocery stores like those often carry a wider selection of "gourmet" type foods.
posted by notyou at 5:38 PM on January 28, 2008

Capriflavors has some great stuff. They have pasta, but unfortunately not pastina. They do have ditalini and stars, both of which I like in homemade noodle soup.

More importantly, they are the only way I know of to buy Pocket Coffee and Duplo in the US.
posted by charlesv at 8:42 PM on January 28, 2008

I have a box of the star and the round in my cupboard right now...lemme check. Maybe if you have what they're called to search on it would help.

They're both made by San Giorgio, the stars are called "Pastina" and the round ones are called "Ancini de Pepe 48".

I bought them at my local Acme supermarket (Yes, there really is a chain of stores called that.)
It's owned by Albertsons I think.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:59 PM on January 28, 2008

In my supermarket the pastina is not with the pasta where you might assume it would be, but rather in the Italian section of the International aisle.
posted by mikepop at 5:37 AM on January 29, 2008

In Mexican brands it's called estrella or estrellita. I found estrellitas Knorr in MexGrocer, but they are ready to make with tomato broth powder which you might not like (that brand is ultra salty). La Moderna is another brand, they sell the normal variety too.
posted by clearlydemon at 1:26 PM on January 29, 2008

I enjoyed a sandwich at Santa Fe Importers this afternoon. I can confirm that they have the pasta you're looking for.
posted by notyou at 6:55 PM on January 29, 2008

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