Spicy sauce flavors steak

March 27, 2013 

Neapolitan bistecca alla pizzaioli (Steak with Spicy Tomato Sauce) was originally used to disguise the poor quality of meat in this region of Italy. Today, we can enjoy excellent meats with this sauce for a quick and delicious meal.

Fennel has a large, pale green bulbous base with darker green stems and feathery, bright green leaves. It’s sometimes labeled anise in the market. Both the base and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a very mild, sweet licorice flavor.

The fennel is very thinly sliced for this salad. Use a mandolin or the thin slicing blade on the food processor. It will take only a few minutes.

HELPFUL HINTS

Wine suggestion: Folks in Napoli might drink a big, smooth, red Lacryma del Vesuvio Rosso by the local Mastroberardino winery; failing that, go with a chianti.

Nutrition: 534 calories per serving; 38 percent of calories from fat

Substitutions: Any type of steak such as flank, rib eye, skirt or strip can be used. Celery can be substituted for fennel. Any type of pasta-style sauce can be used.

Save time: An easy way to chop fennel leaves is to snip them with scissors.

To buy: 1 fennel bulb, 1 small can cannellini beans, 1 small container pitted black olives, 1 small can olive oil spray, 1 small bottle reduced-fat Italian salad dressing, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 small bottle low-sodium pasta sauce, half a pound of sirloin steak

Staples: Garlic, dried oregano, salt, black peppercorns

STEAK PIZZAIOLI

1/2 cup low-sodium pasta sauce

4 pitted, black olives, cut in half

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Several drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil spray

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 pound sirloin steak

Place pasta sauce, olives and oregano in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 2 minutes to warm through. Set aside. Or for stove top, simmer pasta sauce, olives and oregano in a saucepan until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and remove from heat while steak cooks.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Rub the garlic onto the steak and brown the steak on both sides, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper the cooked sides. Lower heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until steak is cooked through. A meat thermometer should read 130 degrees for rare and 160 degrees for medium. Remove from the skillet and spoon sauce on top.

Per serving: 328 calories (55 percent from fat), 20.1 grams fat (7.4 grams saturated, 8.8 grams monounsaturated), 61 milligrams cholesterol, 24.1 grams protein, 10.9 grams carbohydrates, 2.2 grams fiber, 142 milligrams sodium.

FENNEL AND BEAN SALAD

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1 cup drained and rinsed cannellini or white navy beans

3 tablespoons reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the top stem and feathery leaves off the fennel. Reserve leaves. Wash and slice the fennel bulb. Place sliced fennel and beans in a bowl, and add dressing, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Snip about 1 tablespoon of the feathery leaves and sprinkle over salad.

Per serving: 207 calories (10 percent from fat), 2.2 grams fat (0.3 grams saturated, 0.5 grams monounsaturated), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 11.4 grams protein, 38.1 grams carbohydrates, 10.5 grams fiber, 77 milligrams sodium

Servings: 2 Servings: 2 Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks, including “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Go to dinnerinminutes.com.

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