This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Rest assured all opinions are my own.
Steak pizzaiola may have a number of interpretations but in the most basic form, it is a great steak in a hearty tomato sauce. For my version, a simple marinara sauce is made in the pan as the steak. Most people will have the ingredients needed to make this easy dish in their cupboard already. This recipe is one I love year round, and it remind me of some of the great Italian restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of visiting throughout the years.
What Is Steak Pizzaiola?
In short, that depends who is making it. There are so many different versions. Some use fresh tomatoes while other versions used readily available canned. Some recipes use peppers and mushrooms and I’ve even seen some with capers or olives. Melted cheese is in some recipes as well. The words “steak alla pizzaiola” means “pizza maker style meat” and you can clearly see why. Different cuts of beef ranging from tough to tender find their way in other versions. For my version, I’m going back to basics with a simple classic recipe. A flavorful tomato sauce with a delicious piece of beef in it is a wonderful thing.
What Cut Of Beef To Use
I prefer to use a tender steak that I would typically use to pan sear or cook on the grill as opposed to tougher cuts. A ribeye, sirloin, strip steak, filet mignon are all excellent options for steak pizzaiola. Sure, some recipes might utilize a tough cut that takes a long time to cook, but that’s not my preference. I prefer a quick recipe I can make for weeknight dinners and not one I have to bring out the crockpot for. If I’m cooking beef for a long time in sauce, it’s for a different type of recipe.
For this recipe I am using a stunning 24 ounce Private Reserve bone-in ribeye from Omaha Steaks. This steak is nice and thick, aged at least 28 days for extra flavor and tenderness, and has excellent marbling. It is big enough for me to easily share. I prefer a nice thick cut for my steak pizzaiola because you can sear it then let it cook in the sauce longer before it is done. Extra simmer time equals extra flavor.
How To Make Steak Pizzaiola
Once you have your ingredients prepped, this recipe comes together quite fast. The first step is to get some nice color on the steak. Season it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the steak to a preheated skillet with a couple tablespoons of oil or ghee. Sear the steak for a few minutes on each side after you’ve obtained a nice brown crust. The steak will not be fully cooked at this point (granted it is not very thin). Set the steak aside on a plate while the sauce is made.
Making The Tomato Sauce
To the same pan which you just pulled the steak out of, over medium heat, add the onions. Sauté them until they are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant or approximately 30 seconds. Be cautious no to burn the garlic or it will get bitter. A splash of red or white wine is an excellent addition here as well but it isn’t written into my recipe. My rule generally is, if I have a bottle open, I’ll add it. If not, it’s not a necessary ingredient. It just adds nice flavor to the sauce. Next add the basil, oregano, crushed red chili flakes. Stir and cook for 15 seconds or so then add the tomatoes.
For the tomatoes, I like to use a mixture of both crushed tomatoes and a whole peeled tomatoes. When you chop up the whole tomatoes, it makes for a nice heartier texture. You can use your hands or a handy dandy kitchen tool used for breaking up chunks of food.
After the sauce has cooked for about five minutes, add the steak to the sauce. Continue cooking the steak on low until it is cooked to your liking. Use an instant read thermometer to get precise results. For medium rare, I pull my steak at 130°F when cooked in this manner.
In A Hurry? You Can Use Jarred Sauce.
This recipe does not take long to make at all but I get it. Sometimes we are looking for shortcuts and that’s okay! I will say however, if you are going to used jarred sauce, spend the extra few bucks and get a good one. Jarred sauce has come a long way since I was a kid.
Plating The Pizzaiola
As soon as the steak is finished, plate with extra sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of pecorino Romano cheese and some oregano and serve immediately. Some nice crusty bread to dunk in the sauce is a nice addition as well.
Feel free to dress this recipe up however you prefer with some of the other ingredients I mentioned such as mushrooms, peppers, olives, etc. If you are adding mushrooms or peppers, just be sure to sauté them prior to adding the tomatoes. Enjoy!
Looking for other ways to cook a ribeye? Check out my post “How to cook a ribeye by different methods”.
- Large deep skillet or pan
- 1 thick ribeye (or steak of your choice such as strip steak, filet, sirloin etc)
- 28 oz whole, peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp basil, dried
- 1 tbsp oregano, dried
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (and more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
- 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Cook the steak
- Season steak with kosher salt and pepper.
- Preheat large, deep skillet or pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp of oil. When oil is shimmering, add the steak to the pan.
- Cook the steak until a nice brown crust forms on the first side. Don't be tempted to touch the meat while this happens. Typically this will take 3-4 minutes. Flip the steak and cook on the other side for another few minutes. Set steak aside. The steak is not fully cooked at this point. It will further cook in the sauce.
Make the tomato sauce
- In the skillet which the steak was removed from, over medium heat, add the onions. Saute until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant being careful not to burn it. Scrape up any leftover brown bits from the steak and mix into the onions (there is great flavor there).
- To the same skillet, add the basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 seconds then add all of the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low.
- Stir the sauce to combine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the steak back to the skillet and continue to cook until desired internal temperature. Depending on the thickness of this steak, this will vary.
- When steak is desired temperature, remove from pan and place on plate. Top steak with sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, Pecorino Romano and oregano. Serve immediately.