Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bistecca Pizziola
serves 6
                                                                     prep time:                     5 minutes
                                                                     sauce cook time:        10 minutes
                                                                     scallopini cook time:    6 minutes
                                                                     bake time:                  20 minutes
                                                                     total time:                   41 minutes


4 tender, thin beef cutlets (boneless rib steak, or sirloin), about 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Spicy spaghetti sauce, recipe follows
1 1 pound  ball fresh mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala), sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
12 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Spicy Spaghetti Sauce with Capers:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 16-ounce cans tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), hand crushed
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 cup red wine, Chianti or burgundy
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 large (or quantity to your taste) fresh basil leaves roughly torn


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

prepare the spicy spaghetti sauce:

1.  Coat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and warm over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft.   Be careful not to burn the garlic, if it burns throw it out and start over.
2.  Add the crushed tomatoes, the capers, the red wine, red pepper flakes and sugar; season with salt and pepper to taste. 
3.  Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the roughly torn basil leaves and the remaining olive oil.  
4.  Correct seasoning with salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.  

prepare the beef cutlets:

Pound out the cutlets until they are 1/8 inch thick and give them a few whacks with the tenderizing side of the mallet. Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper. 

sauté the cutlets:

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the beef in batches and sear on both sides, 1 and 2 minutes per side. Remove the first batch from the pan and place in a high-sided cookie sheet or baking dish while you work on the next batch. 

bring it all together:

Once all the beef cutlets have been sautéed and arranged on the cookie sheet, ladle the Spicy Spaghetti Sauce with Capers over the meat to cover, and place 2 slices of mozzarella on each steak. Bake just until the mozzarella is melted and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.


Serve 1 beef scallopini to each diner and dress each serving with some of the chiffonade  basil leaves either chiffonade or hand-torn pieces on top of each cutlet and accompany by a side salad or pasta.

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