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.