Long an Italian-American restaurant staple that began to appear on menus during the 1930s, this dish is truly Italian; its origins, rather. With a typical serving featuring plenty of steak and plenty of sauce, it is typical American in execution.
Though there are innumerable variations, it’s the tomatoes and oregano that make it pizzaiola – or alla pizziaola in the original Italian – in the style of the pizza-maker.
This version appears in the eBook From the Antipasto to the Zabaglione: The Story of Italian Restaurants in America, available on Amazon.com, etc.
Olive oil – 4 tablespoons
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Tomatoes, canned – 15 ½ ounces, chopped
Oregano, dried – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Black pepper – to taste
Steak – 2 pounds, t-bone or sirloin, 1-inch thick
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a small pan and turn heat to medium. When hot add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and a few grindings of pepper
- Stirring frequently, cook until a thick consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a large heavy skillet, add the rest of the olive oil and turn heat to high heat. When ready, brown the steak in the oil for about 1 ½ minutes on each side.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the reserved sauce over the meat.
- Cover and cook for an additional 6 to 10 minutes, turning once, until the steak is done to your taste.
- To serve, scrape the tomato sauce off the top of the steak into the skillet and transfer the steak to a carving board. Simmer the sauce left in the skillet for 1 minute, scraping the pan.
- Carve the steak, arrange the slices on a platter and top with sauce.