A Quickie for Valentine’s Day: Pasta Sciue Sciue 😁

Pasta Sciue Sciue | OurItalianTable.com

Thought we would pop into your inbox one more time before Valentine’s Day with a quick dinner idea for the upcoming holiday! ❤️ Given Valentine’s Day is on a weeknight, we thought this recipe might come in handy for those needing to pull together a quick meal that will still leave your special Valentine’s heart all a flutter. This pasta recipe with the adorable name, Pasta Sciue Sciue (pronounced ‘shoo-ey, shoo-ey’ which translates to ‘hurry, hurry’ in the Neapolitan dialect ) simmers while the pasta boils and is ready to go by the time the pasta is ‘al dente’.

This simple, yet oh so delicious pasta is sure to win over the heart of your loved one and bonus points granted if you plate the pasta in a heart shape. ❤️ I make this pasta A LOT (I probably shouldn’t admit how often) but on those weeknights when we are craving a super simple yet flavorful plate of pasta – this is my go-to. You simply cook the garlic in the oil, add in the tomatoes and let simmer. Season and toss in some basil. Once the pasta is ready to go, add it to the pan with the sauce and allow to simmer for a minute, adding in a little pasta water to meld everything together. That’s it! Comfort and hugs on a plate!

I tend to use spaghetti for this recipe but you can sub in your favorite pasta shape (although those shorter shapes might be hard to shape into a heart 😁). I also keep a stash of the best canned tomatoes I can find for those recipes where you want the best quality – beautiful bright red San Marzano tomatoes are the ticket here. This recipe also works beautifully with a few pints of cherry tomatoes instead of the canned tomatoes.

And whether making pasta sciue sciue for your special Valentine or for your very own solo couch picnic, be sure to keep this one on repeat. It is worth it.

Wishing everyone a buon San Valentino! ❤️❤️❤️

Tanti baci


Michele ❤️ and Joey too!

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Pasta Sciue Sciue | OurItalianTable.com

Pasta Sciue Sciue

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5 from 3 reviews


This super quick pasta is ready by the time the pasta is ‘al dente’.  Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or your special Valentine!


  • 1 pound spaghetti (or other favorite pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • About 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes over low heat until the garlic is soft and just begins to brown. Squish the garlic a bit while heating to release more of the garlic flavor.  Remove the garlic from the pan. I like to leave some of the smaller bits but discard the larger bits of the cloves.

3. Drain the can of tomatoes, reserving the juice for another use (Bloody Mary, anyone?). Increase the heat to medium and add in the tomatoes.  Using a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes in the pan.   Lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for another 5 minutes.  Stack your basil leaves on top of each other. Roll them into a cigar and cut crosswise into very thin ribbons. Add about 2/3 of the basil to the sauce and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

5. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Drain your pasta and either put it back into the pot in which it was cooked or into the large skillet with the sauce if it can accommodate. (If you put it back in the pot where it was cooked, add the sauce to the pasta.) Toss the sauce and pasta together. (If too dry, you can add a little of the reserved pasta water.)  Add in the remaining basil. Stir to incorporate.

6. Serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Always a winner. And I love the name, too. 🙂

    1. Michele Author says:

      Me too – fun to say after a few glasses of vino

  2. Gabriele Lasco says:

    Thank you guys My guardian mom used to make it for me in Italy

  3. Christopher Nation says:

    Well – 5 * in anticipation. I’m trying to lose weight – hovering around minus 8kgs a.t.mo – so no pasta/rice/bread .. One day I’ll be allowed to do this. My friend Giorgia, working with her exec chef brother in a $500/night Swiss hotel, sent me a photo of this dish – their lunch. Looked so good I had to look it up – found your recipe, now saved. Propagating basil on my kitchen window cill. All set …

    1. Michele Author says:

      Sometimes simple really is the best….good luck with the diet…hope you are eating pasta again soon!

  4. Christopher Nation says:

    It reminds me of another sensational simple dish – penne con pomodoro e basilico. How basic is that? But the restaurant in Milan which served us this produced something beyond belief for such a simple dish. They used cherry tomatoes. So good my boss said “Kid. Do you think they would give us another round of this?” They were pleased to. We left after lunch for Paris, on another shoot. Dining in a restaurant with a view of the Eiffel Tower my boss said, “Kid. We wuz eating better in Italy” [He was stricktly a Broooklyn guy]. And that was true !

    1. Michele Author says:

      Food memories are just the best…grazie for sharing!

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