Ronzoni's Pastina Has Been Officially Discontinued

Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, though one of the smallest and widest-ranging variations is pastina. In Italian, pastina translates to "little pasta," per My Sequined Life, and it is a category of small pasta shapes. Orzo falls under the category of pastina, as does any similarly minuscule pasta variety like ditalini or stelline. According to The Spruce Eats, the cut-off for a pasta shape to qualify as little — à la pastina — is about a quarter of an inch. Within this size, pastina can come in any and all shapes.

One common brand selling pastina in the U.S. is Ronzoni. The popular pasta brand makes its pastina in the shape of miniature stars and the pastina is the smallest shape the brand produces.

Despite its versatility — pastina can accommodate Italian wedding soups and kid-friendly meals alike — Ronzini's pastina is no more, with Snopes confirming that Ronzoni has discontinued the tiny pasta, shelving its little stars once and for all.

Why was Ronzoni's pastina discontinued

On December 29, 2022, Snopes reported on the discontinuation of Ronzoni's pastina, stating the brand had shared with customers that the pasta was discontinued due to "insufficient sales."

Food manufacturer 8th Avenue, which is responsible for producing Ronzoni pasta, among items for other brands, sent Tasting Table a statement refuting this claim. The company explained that the pasta's small, unique star shape "require[s] specialized production from a third-party manufacturer." The company 8th Avenue had relied on to produce the pastina for Ronzoni informed the food manufacturer it would no longer be able to do so beginning January 2023. 8th Avenue went on to share it has "been unable to identify a viable, new manufacturer who could make Pastina in the same shape, size, and standards that Ronzoni customers have come to expect," so it made the tough decision to discontinue the product for the time being.

Fans are hopeful for a return

As a result of the pasta's disappearance from store shelves, pastina fans have spoken out. A petition on behalf of the Mambo Italian Facebook page has circulated social media with the hopes of reviving the beloved pasta shape. So far, the petition has received over 2,000 signatures. "Pasta is a huge part of our Italian Culture," the petition states, pleading for Ronzoni to continue to stock pastina. "Many of us were raised on Pastina and include it in our Italian recipes."

According to the statement sent to Tasting Table from 8th Avenue, the company is continuing its search for a solution and hopes to bring pastina back to the Ronzoni product line in the future.

While Ronzoni has discontinued the beloved pasta shape, other brands are still going strong. Barilla makes its own pastina in a similar star shape, keeping the pasta's legacy intact. With this option still on the market, you hopefully won't have to discontinue your favorite comforting soups and broths while 8th Avenue works out its plan for the future.