A classic from Naples – it’s fast, spicy, delicious, and is named after the pizza-maker since the sauce is one that is always at hand in a pizzeria.

Traditionally, a thick slice of chuck or round is used. You can use these cuts if you have time to braise the meat for 2-3 hours to tenderize these tougher cuts. Usually I’m too hungry to wait that long so I make it with thinly-sliced ribeye steaks. You can make this dish in about 45 minutes.

I felt generous when making the dish so I added two contorni (side dishes) to accompany the steak: sauteed escarole and roasted potatoes.

Don’t miss this episode if you want to see my version of Italian ketchup.

Bistecca alla Pizzaiola

Ingredients

  • 2 ribeye steaks, about 1/2 nch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, 1 smashed and 1 chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano. This is an important ingredient, use oregano from Italia.
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups San Marzano canned tomatoes, crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Put 1 tablespoon EVOO and the smashed garlic in a cold saute pan.
  2. Bring the EVOO to a ripple over medium-high heat. Sizzle the garlic in the hot oil to infuse its flavor. Remove the garlic before it gets too browned.
  3. Put the steaks in the pan and saute for about a 2 minutes or so until the steak has picked up some browned color.
  4. Turn the steaks over and season with some sea salt and pepper.
  5. Cook the steaks for about a minute more and remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  6. Add the second tablespoon of EVOO, crushed red pepper and the minced garlic.
  7. Saute until the garlic is lightly golden.
  8. Add the tomatoes and stir well to incorporate the oil.
  9. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  10. Add the oregano to the sauce and stir well.
  11. Return the steaks to the pan and cover with the tomato sauce.
  12. Simmer over medium heat until the tomato water evaporates and the sauce thickens.
  13. Plate the steaks and cover with some of the sauce.
  14. Add the escarole and roasted potatoes (see recipes below) and serve immediately.

Scarola in Padella (Sauteed Escarole)

Ingredients

  • 1 head escarole, remove the core, cut the head in half, and cut in 2 inch ribbons
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Put the EVOO, garlic and crushed pepper to a cold pan.
  2. Heat over medium-high until the garlic takes on a bit of golden color.
  3. Add the escarole and toss so that all the leaves wilt.
  4. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. If there is no liquid in the pan add some water to help steam the escarole.
  6. Saute for 3 minutes or until the escarole is tender.
  7. Place the escarole in a bowl and drizzle with a little very good EVOO.

Patate al Forno (Roasted Potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes quartered and cut in 2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons EVOO
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes and olive oil in a baking dish.
  3. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix well to evenly coat the potatoes.
  5. Pour in the water.
  6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Uncover the pan and roast for another 15 minutes until the water is evaporated and the potatoes take on a golden-brown crust and are knife tender.
  9. Put the potatoes in a serving dish.
  10. Serve immediately.