Bistecca alla pizzaiola

This is one of those dead simple but tasty Italian dishes that you used to see on Italian restaurant menus back when an empty Chianti fiaschi bound in straw with a candle in it was the height of sophistication. Actually, I rather like those old-fashioned trattoria places with red-and-white checked tablecloths and lots of wood panelling and whitewashed walls. In many ways I prefer them to some of the new-style Italian places that often fail to deliver on flavour and are more about style than substance.

Anyway, back to the recipe. Basically all you need is steak and a simple tomato sauce and that is it.

The best steak for this is rump and it needs to be seasoned and then fried in a pan with some butter and olive oil until it is nearly done and then set on one side.

Then you deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and cook some chopped and skinned plum tomatoes (tinned are fine) in the pan with some dried oregano, some optional capers, a pinch of chilli flakes and a lot of crushed and chopped garlic until the sauce is thickened.

Then you return the steak to the pan and cook it in the sauce for a minute or so longer so that it is warmed through.

To serve, all you need is a green salad and some potatoes sautéed in olive oil with some sprigs of rosemary, some crusty bread and a bottle of a decent Italian red wine. I suppose to keep the retro trattoria vibe going the wine should be Valpolicella or Chianti but really any good hearty red will do. A Nero d’Avola or a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo would work nicely. We had a 2007 Riserva Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Piccini, which I think we bought in Sainsburys a while ago. This was a reasonable wine, not as big as I’d expected it to be but fruity and able to stand up to the food pretty well. It had a softness and a bit of depth, overall not bad.

Next time I think I’ll go for a Chianti Classico or maybe some other Sangiovese-based wine instead.


One thought on “Bistecca alla pizzaiola

  1. A classic. This recipe reminds me of a little Italian restaurant I used to regularly visit in Maidenhead which fitted your description *exactly*. Reading this post has brought back many happy memories.

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