Pastinos are the creation of two Italians, Roberto and Giuseppe, as a range of crunchy snacks that are made from real pasta. They're available in four flavours; Tomato & Sweet Basil, Chianti & Olive, Arrabbiata (Chilli & Tomato), and Sicilian Lemon & Cracked Black Pepper. The Pastinos are all made with the finest durum wheat pasta, without any artificial colours, flavours or MSG. The ingredients list is all reassuringly familiar with real flavours and ingredients.
I've been trying out all the different Pastinos varieties over the past few weeks and I was intrigued to find out whether pasta can actually work as a tasty snack - and it turns out that it's very successful! The texture isn't really all that different from something like Wheat Crunchies, crunchy and light, but of course with far superior flavours and ingredients.
In fact it's in the delicious Italian pasta sauce inspired flavours that the Pastinos really excel. I had my own favourites amongst the different flavours but here are my thoughts on them all:
Pastinos Arrabbiata Chilli & Tomato: Arrabbiata sauce is traditionally a spicy combination of garlic, tomatoes, chilli peppers and olive oil. The Pastinos Arrabbiata snacks have the flavour absolutely perfect,with an initial chilli heat that blends into the sweeter flavours of tomato and bell pepper, all combined with notes of onion and garlic too. I'm not usually a fan of spicy crisp flavours, but it works perfectly in this pasta based snack - they're just so flavourful and are especially wonderful with a cold drink in hand! 9 out of 10.
Pastinos Sicilian Lemon & Black Lemon: These have a much milder flavour and lighter seasoning compared to the Arrabbiata above. The black pepper is evident at first with a softer lemon flavour developing. I wasn't sure how lemon would work in a snack like this but it's actual very tasty and easy to eat. I would like to see even more lemon flavour in these, but the milder edge does allow the actual pasta base flavour to be more pronounced. 8 out of 10.
Pastinos Tomato & Sweet Basil: This might be the safest flavour choice of the four but it was still our overall favourite (although it was hard to choose between this and the Arrabbiata!). The seasoning on these snacks is perfect for the pasta base and is full of authentic Italian flavours. The tomato flavour is lovely and sweet, and well matched by the herby notes of basil, pepper, with garlic and onion too. There is also a background cheese flavour to these which is delicious - just like a little grated cheese on top of a pasta dish! 10 out of 10.
Pastinos Chianti & Olive: Chianti is a wine produced in the Chianti region in Italy and I was curious to see how it would work as a flavour for these pasta snacks. The Pastinos Chianti & Olive really do have a sweet red wine type of flavour, but it's not too overpowering and tastes delicious against the background flavours of olives, garlic and herbs. It's an interesting flavour and one that was surprisingly moreish! 8 out 10.
Overall, we enjoyed this Pastinos range very much, with the highlights being the Arrabbiata and Tomato & Sweet Basil varieties. They're all full of Italian flair and flavours, and make a delicious change to regular potato crisps. I'll certainly be buying Pastinos again in the future, especially for family get togethers and special occasions.
Pastinos are available at selected Waitrose, Whole Foods, Selfridges Food Hall - see here for full details of STOCKISTS. They're available in 150g packs at £1.99p or 40g packs at £0.99p.
RATING: See individual flavours.
Buy them again?: Absolutely!
Nutrition: 174 - 180 calories per 40g serving.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians.
Products sent for an honest review.