The classic Pizzaiola recipe, the one I learned at home, calls for a slow cooking of veal or beef cutlets with an unsophisticated mix of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and oregano; modern versions, as an alternative, advise to quickly sauté the meat with oil, garlic and splash of wine before finishing the cooking in a simple oregano and tomato sauce.
I decided to give you the option to try both versions and decide for yourself which one is your favorite Pizzaiola cutlets recipe.
Ingredients and Instructions (serves 4):
- 2 pounds (900 g) of veal or beef cutlets
- 1 pound (450 g) of canned tomatoes, crushed
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine (variation recipe)
- Start by cleaning the slices of meat, trimming any excessive fat and tough cartilage.
- In a large skillet, slightly sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium fire; when it starts browning, remove the garlic and add the crushed tomatoes with their juice. Season with the dried oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper and then let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until the seasoning has flavored the tomato sauce.
- Lay the slices of meat in the sauce, cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for about an hour, checking time to time that the liquid of the sauce does not reduce too much and adding a little water as needed.
- Start by sautéing the garlic in the olive oil over medium fire; when it starts browning, remove it from the pan, and add the cutlets, cooking them for about 1 minute each side. Add a splash of wine and let evaporate for another minute. When done, transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, make the tomato sauce, using the cooking juices of the meat. Simply add the crushed tomatoes, the oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper, then cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the sauce has a nice thick consistency.
- Return the slices of meat to the pan and heat all the way through. Serve warm with a side of veggies or – the Italian way – just with a nice mixed salad, but do not forget some slices of artisan bread, so your guests can mop up the delicious sauce from their plate at the end.
Wine suggestions: a medium-bodied red, such as Barbera or Sangiovese, would be my choice for Carne alla Pizzaiola.
Cinzia Aversa, 2013