In Italy, the briefly cooked fresh tomato sauce called pizzaiola is traditionally served atop steak. We use sirloin, but if you'd prefer to use flank steak or skirt steak, just reduce the cooking time. The sauce is also good on pasta.
Slideshows: Great Steak
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 3), peeled and chopped
3 sprigs plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, oregano sprigs or dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Season the steak with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook the steak for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until done to your taste, about 5 minutes longer for medium rare. Remove the steak and let rest in a warm spot for 5 minutes. Cut the steak diagonally into thin slices and top with the warm tomato sauce and the chopped fresh oregano, if using.
Barbera—a dry, crisp, medium-bodied red wine from northwestern Italy—is ideal whenever tomatoes and beef come together.
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