Acini di Pepe

This past weekend for my sister’s 30th birthday party, I made my mom’s infamous Acini di Pepe recipe (pronounced ahh-chee-nee-dee-pep-eh). Acini di Pepe is actually the name of the pasta that you use in this recipe. Acini di Pepe in Italian means pepperberry or peppercorns. If you look at this pastina (tiny pasta) up close, you’ll see it is extremely small and does indeed look like small peppercorns. Acini di Pepe is traditionally used for soups, but my mom has been making this dessert dish for as long as I can remember. Summer does not officially begin for me until this dish is passed around at a cookout or a party. Someone at the party asked me what this dish is, and I had a very difficult time explaining. The best I can compare this dish to is some sort of ambrosia salad, but infinitely better. While this dish might look very peculiar, you have to take my word for it and just try it. It’s absolutely amazing – light and sweet and perfect for summer. Enjoy!


  • 1 Box Acini di Pepe (2 brands I know make this are De Cecco & Wegmans)
  • 2 small cans of mandarin oranges
  • 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside
  2. Open the canned fruit, strain the juices, and set the fruit aside.
  3. Add the juices from the mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cherries to a small pan along with the sugar, cornstarch and beaten eggs
  4. Over medium heat, stir the juice mixture until it becomes thick
  5. Pour the thickened juice over the pasta and mix well
  6. Add the fruit and Cool Whip and mix
  7. Refrigerate and serve cold


Filed under Desserts, Pasta, Side Dishes

4 responses to “Acini di Pepe

  1. Mom

    It is delicious. A suggestion is once you combine your fruit and pasta let it cool in the refrigerator really well before adding the cool whip. I usually make it the day before.

  2. Oh my gosh my mouth is watering for this, Uncle tom, oh yeah, you’ve got to make this, so it is asked, so it shall be done! This will really be good since we’re dying in this heat wave, a nice cool treat to eat!
    love and miss you
    aunt karen

  3. I love acini di pepe! We used to have them all the time when we were kids in broth. Great recipe!

  4. Liss

    This is one of my favorites! Thank you for making it for me. It was delicious! đŸ™‚

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