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Stanley Tucci: ‘Why would you want to stop making pastina?’

15 November, 2023
Stanley Tucci in the kitchen.

Photo: Matt Holyoak Productions Ltd

The two recipes in the S.Pellegrino Presents: Stanley Tucci’s Stelline Two Ways kit, which has been curated by World Chef/YumCrunch and includes fresh ingredients, premium Italian products, two bags of pastina and a bottle of S.Pellegrino, are fairly faithful to Tucci’s childhood eats too.

“They're close to the original recipes, you're always changing and adapting them but for the most part you know, you're making a chicken broth. And you're making these little meatballs. You can make them with dark meat, you can make them with white meat. It's a really very straightforward recipe that's been around forever and it's one so many Italians make. So many different families basically make a version of this recipe. It’s incredibly comforting. It's a great appetiser before a meal. And then you have the pastina with burro [butter] and cheese and it's delicious – again great comfort food.”

Tucci obviously gets a great deal of joy from cooking, his love of the kitchen stemming from his mother and grandmother – “They were very similar. And I'm very similar. They're just better than I am,” he says of their cooking skills. And when it comes to the Thanksgiving table there are a few essentials.

“S.Pellegrino I pair with basically everything because it's so good. Even before I started working with them, we drank it. It just kind of makes everything better. When you're talking about Thanksgiving, you always have to have a turkey, the stuffing and the cranberry sauce, and the right gravy.” Based in the UK, Tucci will often cook the meal for British friends “who just love Thanksgiving because they don't have it here.”

Growing up as an Italian-American in the State of New York, Tucci spent a great deal of time around the table. But what makes the Italian table so special in his opinion, during the holidays or at any time?

“The Italian table to me, well it's incredibly straightforward. And the recipes are really simple. And Italian cooking doesn't rely on anything as much as it does fresh seasonal ingredients and an understanding of how to put those together in very simple ways.”

The two recipes in the S.Pellegrino Stelline recipe kit are perfect examples of the Italian philosophy then, to be enjoyed during the holidays, or whenever you feel like a delicious, comforting and easy to prepare meal. And if you get the sniffles, you know what to do.

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