Pan-Fry

Bistecca alla Pizzaiola (Pizza Maker’s Steak)

December  9, 2021
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Photo by Rocky Luten, prop styling by Molly Fitzsimons, food styling by Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

This classic Italian dish has been credited to the Neapolitans who are world famous for their pizza. The name’s origin is said to be due to a crafty pizza maker who decided to use his own pizza sauce to create this tasty dish. Traditionally, a tough cut of meat is used and simmered in the tomato sauce for hours until it becomes nice and tender. While that is very good, I wanted to speed up the process for a great and very convenient weeknight meal that doesn't require hours on the stove. You can have it ready to go in about half an hour. I also decided to “chicken fry” the thin steaks so that after a quick dip in the sauce, the coating really soaks up all of that wonderful tomato flavor. You probably already have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your pantry or fridge, and you'll love that this is a one-pan dish, meaning super-easy cleanup and a fuss-free meal. Feel free to throw in some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce too if you want a little bit of a kick. Just be sure to taste as you go. After adding a few thick slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and some beautiful basil leaves for color, I love to serve this right from the skillet. This recipe is definitely a showstopper and a crowd-pleaser.

And don’t be upset if you have some leftovers. Heated up the next day and then layered into some crusty bread, it transforms into the ultimate pizza steak sandwich! —Anna Francese Gass

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil, such as canola
  • 2 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
  • 10 basil leaves, chiffonade cut
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Arrange the meat on a cutting board; season with salt and pepper. Using the spiked side of a meat mallet, lightly tenderize the steak on one side.
  2. Set up a breading station of the beaten eggs in one shallow dish and the breadcrumbs in another.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. To test, drop a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil. It should sizzle.
  4. Dip each slice of beef into the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Working in batches of 3 pieces, fry the steak for 2 to 3 minutes, until crispy and browned. Flip and fry for about 2 minutes more, until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the steak to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the pan to remove any excess breadcrumbs and pour in the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring the sauce to a simmer. Return the meat to the sauce and turn to coat.
  6. Arrange the steak on a platter. Garnish with the Parmesan and basil.

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