Steak Pizzaiola | Carne alla Pizzaiola

Steak Pizzaiola is a delicious Italian meat recipe made with slices of veal or beef, cooked in a pan with a tomato sauce called “alla marinara” or “alla pizzaiola”.

This sauce is made with tomato, oil, garlic and oregano. Cooking the meat directly in the sauce makes it very tender and super appetizing.

“Alla Pizzaiola” refers to the sauce used to prepare Pizza alla Marinara.

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This dish is typical of Mediterranean cuisine, very aromatic and flavorful. Garlic and oregano are the main aromas that give this dish its unique and unmistakable taste.

The secrets to an excellent result are first of all the quality of the ingredients: thin and particularly soft slices of meat and a firm tomato pulp.

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Also, we recommend not to cook the meat for a long time. Prolonged cooking tends to make the meat slices tough and stodgy!

Steak pizzaiola is a tasty, quick and handy dish. In fact, you can dress pasta with its great sauce so to have two recipes in one go!

Try steak pizzaiola with a great homemade bread: the “scarpetta” is mandatory!

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How to Make Steak Pizzaiola

  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 20 Min
  • Yields : 4



BEFORE YOU START: first of all, to make steak pizzaiola, you need to make the tomato sauce. This sauce is virtually identical to Marinara Sauce. The term “Pizzaiola” refers to the sauce that is used to make Pizza alla Marinara.

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Step 1) – Cut the garlic cloves into very small pieces. This way they will cook and be more digestible.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. Let it sauté on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

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Step 2) – Now pour in the tomato passata or peeled tomatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes on low heat.

When the sauce has reduced and the watery part has evaporated, you can add half a dose of oregano and a little salt to taste.

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Step 3) – While the sauce is cooking, place the meat slices on a cutting board. Cover them with baking paper and use a meat pounder to beat them lightly to thin them a bit.

PLEASE NOTE: This step is not necessary if you are using very thin slices or you would risk breaking them.

If the meat slices have a border of connective tissue or fat around them, you make small cuts to prevent them from curling during cooking.

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Step 4) – Now add the meat slices to the sauce. If they are too large you can cut them in half. Let them cook about 2 minutes per side. Salt them lightly and finish adding oregano.

Steak Pizzaiola is ready! Garnish with a few leaves of fresh basil and serve your steak alla pizzaiola hot with plenty of sauce.

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You can keep steak pizzaiola in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container. It can be reheated in a frying pan.

You can freeze and keep the pizzaiola steak in the freezer in a container for up to 3 months.

Certainly you can prepare the sauce ahead of time. Then heat the sauce in a skillet. Finally put the slices of meat and cook.

What Kinds of Meat is Best for Steak Pizzaiola?

Generally, veal or beef is used to prepare carne alla pizzaiola.

For this recipe, they mainly use sirloin steak cut into thin slices and pounded gently until flattened.

You can also use meat cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin, flank steak, or round steak.

Many also use pork chops or slices of chicken breast, but these versions deviate greatly from the traditional Italian recipe.

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Steak Pizzaiola: Fast or Slow Cooking?

Meat pizzaiola is considered a quick and easy recipe.

In fact, it’s one of those recipes that can be made in just a few minutes and get a great result: a tender, tasty meat and also a delicious sauce for dressing pasta!

That’s why we choose fast-cooking cuts of meat. Thin slices that need only two or three minutes of cooking per side.

We generally choose quality cuts of meat, such as sirloin, for example. The important thing is to use a steak that cooks quickly.

Traditionally, however, the recipe for carne alla Pizzaiola that our grandmothers prepared called for a slow cooking of the meat in the sauce. A cooking time of even 1 or 2 hours!

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The reason for this lies in the fact that back then, they used cuts of meat with a lot of connective tissue and fat, which were very cheap.

They needed a very long cooking time to make them tender. You would let the meat slow cooking until it melted in the gravy. 

So adjust the cooking time (fast or slow) according to the cut of meat you have and the result you want to achieve.

If you want a light, fragrant sauce and tender, lean slices, opt for the faster cooking method we showed.

On the other hand, if you want a very rich and flavorful meat dish, use a less valuable meat and lengthen the cooking time as our grandmothers did.

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Steak Pizzaiola: Tips and Variations

The recipe for steak pizzaiola is a classic of Italian cuisine and, to be perfect, it must have some must-have traits, beyond the different variations dictated by family or regional habits.

1) – The meat must be very tender. So choose the right meat and adjust the cooking times according to the meat cut.

2) – To make the authentic recipe for steak Pizzaiola (and not simply a meat with tomato sauce), garlic and oregano should never be missing.

There are many variations to this simple recipe. Let’s look at some of them!

Especially in Sicily, they often add olives and capers to the tomato sauce.

Many add a slice of mozzarella cheese that melts over the meat while cooking for a more stringy version.

You can flour the slices of meat before adding them to the sauce. This will result in a thicker, fuller-bodied sauce.

Finally, for a spicy version, you can flavor the pizzaiola sauce with fresh or dried chili powder.

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