Ronzoni is discontinuing the star-shaped pastina pasta this month.

Ronzoni is discontinuing the star-shaped pastina pasta this month. Credit: Joann Vaglica

You’ve probably seen the somber news: Ronzoni is discontinuing pastina, the tiny, star-shaped pasta that evokes comfort, childhood memories, and currently, a lot of emotional distress for Long Islanders who count on always having at least one box of it in the pantry.

When Ronzoni announced late last year that it could no longer procure the dried pasta that has fed generations from its longtime supplier, the backlash was swift.

“I’m heartbroken," said Jen Fauci, 34, of Massapequa, who calls it the "Italian medicine" that makes her son feel better. 

“I thought it was a joke,” said Theresa DiLorenzo, 39, of Franklin Square.

Last week, Ronzoni posted additional details on Instagram: "This wasn’t a decision that we wanted to make," it read in part. The company said it searched "extensively" for a solution but ultimately wasn't able to identify an alternative way to produce the pasta "in the same beloved small shape, size, and standards you have come to expect." It will not be available as of this month.

The company did not respond to a request for further comment.

Everyone has their own take on pastina. Some like it soupy. Others prefer it heartier. Some add milk. Others forgo the cheese.

Regardless of the nostalgic outcry, there seems a simple answer: Barilla and San Giorgio brands make the five-point star-shaped pastina, too. But Ronzoni’s roots, which trace back to Long Island City in Queens, have afforded the brand a devoted and enthusiastic local following that refuses to compromise.

For Anna Marie Andolina, 56, who splits her time between Islip and North Carolina, a non-Ronzoni brand’s pastina stars are simply “mush.”

Joann Vaglica contributed to this story.

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