If you’re in the UK you have six days until Father’s Day. Unfortunately I’m not going to be at home to spend time with my Dad on the day, but if you’re around, I honestly think a lovely meal cooked just for him always beats a gift. So, with that in mind, I have you covered.
This classic Neapolitan pizzaiola sauce is the perfect match for a well cooked pave steak. Accompany that with some toasted bread and you have yourself a beautiful Italian inspired meal for Father’s day (or date nights, or even just a plain old Wednesday). The simple ingredients make it a no fuss recipe with bags of flavour.
My love for food certainly comes from my Dad. Although my Mum cooked more, seeing him experiment in the kitchen and completely abandon the recipe books made it all seem exciting. Sometimes it was a hit, sometimes it didn’t work but we never had the same meal twice from him. When I’m not carefully measuring things to share my recipes with you guys, that’s my style of cooking and I have my Dad to thank for that bit. He was the first person to show me how to cook steak too.
The first thing to think about for any steak recipe is to try and get hold of the best steaks you can afford. The steaks I used for this were Donald Russell pave rump steaks. They’re thick, lean and hands down the best steak I’ve ever cooked at home. They were given to me as product samples, but I take my steak seriously, so I wouldn’t tell you that unless it was 100% true. They do good steak. Look at that beautiful browning. I do appreciate a nicely placed griddle mark.
In the past, peppercorn sauce has been my go to for steak but this gorgeous pizzaiola sauce is ideal for summer. I love how versatile it is. You’ll want to make extra for pizza, meatballs, pasta, bruschetta…
The bruschetta idea is why I decided to serve this with bread. It’s not that unusual if you think about a steak sandwich I guess. When you rub the bread with a little oil and garlic then toast it in the same pan as the steak, you get the most delicious, garlicky, crisp slices. They’re made for mopping up the left over sauce.
I’ve been really enjoying using the herbs growing on my kitchen window sill lately and now that the basil and oregano is in full swing, I’ll be making buckets of this sauce for the freezer. Oh, and make sure you use a ‘rustic’ style passata for some texture. I used Cirio.
Enough sauce talk. Can we get a close up of that steak? Medium rare.
Ok, here’s the recipe:
- 4 Pave steaks
- 8 slices ciabatta or sour dough
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, pureed
- 300g Cirio Passata Rustica
- ½ Tbsp chopped oregano
- 8 large basil leaves, torn
- Begin by removing the steak from their packaging, and leaving at room temperature on a plate whilst the sauce is made.
- With a small sauce pan on a low heat, add the olive oil and diced onion. Cook slowly, stirring every so often until the onions are translucent and beginning to turn golden. It will take at least 15 minutes. This slow cooking is important to build up flavour in your sauce and caramelise the natural sugars in the onions a little. Skip this and you'll skip flavour.
- Once the onions are cooked, add the pureed garlic and allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Add 300g Cirio Passata Rustica, chopped oregano and basil. Stir through and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blot the steaks dry with kitchen paper.
- Heat a griddle pan on a high heat. Test the temperature by adding a drop of water. If it instantly sizzles and evaporates, the pan is ready.
- Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper then gently lay on the griddle.
- For medium rare, flip the steaks over after 3 minutes and cook for another 3. (obviously the thickness of the steak may vary and so this is an approximation)
- Remove the steaks from the pan and leave to rest on a rack (over a plate to catch any liquid. Using a rack stops the flavour that has built up on the outside from seeping away with the juices.
- Cover with tinfoil to keep warm.
- Cut the bread in to thick slices and rub with a little olive oil.
- Cut the clove of garlic in half and rub over the bread.
- Toast in the griddle pan until firm.
- As soon as the bread is ready, plate up the meal.
Any left over sauce is wonderful on pasta or home made pizza. This is now my go to tomato sauce for any Italian recipe. It freezes well.
If you make this for a special man in your life, I’d love to know how it goes down.
There’s still time to order some pave steaks for Father’s Day too; the order will be with you on Wednesday if you place it before 6pm today. No excuses! Cook your Papa something awesome.