Sciue Sciue Pasta

Photo by Keri White

“Sciue, Sciue” is a term in the Neapolitan dialect that translates as “hurry, hurry.” True to its name, the dish is a snap to make. It’s ideal to make this time of year when tomatoes and basil are still at their peak.

Using both whole and halved tomatoes is a clever trick that adds varying tastes and textures —some of the whole ones blister, burst and caramelize, others stay intact and the halved tomatoes deliver a lot of juice to round out the sauce.

The recipe can be improvised and adapted as desired. If you want to add some chopped bell or chili pepper, go ahead. Parsley instead of or in addition to basil? Sure! Don’t have white wine? Use rose or red. Want some protein? Add chickpeas or white beans. You get the idea.

Sciue Sciue Pasta
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint whole grape or cherry tomatoes
1 pint halved grape or cherry tomatoes with juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Dash of red pepper flakes (or as desired)
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
1 pound penne, cooked to al dente (any pasta works, just make sure it’s not overcooked)
1 handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the whole tomatoes over high heat until blistered and softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan for any burnt residue — this is very flavorful.

2. Add the halved tomatoes and cook, another 2 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, wine, butter, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Allow it to cook and thicken, about 5 minutes.

4. Serve over pasta garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese, and pass additional Parmesan cheese at the table.


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