Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: July 11, 2022

I have been a fan of Lidia Bastianich for many years. This Emmy award-winning television host, cookbook author, and restaurateur is known for her simple yet delicious recipes.

One of my favorite Lidia recipes is her seared steak with pizzaiola sauce. I love how the steak is so juicy and full of flavor. The best part about this recipe is that it is very easy to make.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients

Garlic, Salt and Herbs on a wooden table
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves peeled and sliced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
  • Four 1-inch thick, 8-ounce bone-in shell steaks
  • 1 cored and seeded red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cored and seeded yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • One 14-ounce can of San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

Instructions

A person cooking a steak on a pan in a home kitchen
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add garlic and allow to sizzle for one minute.
  2. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, oregano, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Saute for approximately 5 minutes, or until the peppers and mushrooms are caramelized along their edges.
  3. Add tomatoes. Use the hot water to rinse the can and add that to the skillet.
  4. Simmer and cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes until the peppers break down, and the sauce thickens.
  5. Use the remaining salt to season the steaks, then sear them over high heat in a separate cast-iron skillet. Cook to your preferred level of doneness, then let rest until the sauce is finished.
  6. Plate the steaks and top them with the pizzaiola sauce. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

A chef pointing to a laptop he is holding while standing up
  • The vegetables and tomatoes create a pizzaiola sauce that is reminiscent of that classic Italian dish - pizza.
  • Consider serving with a thick-crusted bread to soak up the leftover sauce.
  • This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to serve a larger crowd.
  • Although not my preferred choice, you can also broil the steaks in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F and cook until the steak reaches the desired level of doneness.
  • You can reheat leftovers, but the steak will be better if it is freshly cooked.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 363
  • Total Carbs: 6g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Net Carbs: 5g

"The tomato sauce and vegetables in this dish will bring to mind the flavors of pizza, an American favorite. And when those flavors are paired with steak, another American favorite, how could you go wrong?"
- Lidia Bastianich

Chef

Side Dish To Serve With Lidia's Seared Steak

A person eating salad

This seared steak (or as it is known in Italian - bistecca alla pizzaiola) is a hearty dish that is perfect for a winter meal.

If you want to add a salad, you can serve anything from simple greens to a more hearty antipasto, Fregola, or Caprese salad.

For a starch, consider adding some roasted potatoes. For the potatoes, I like to roast them in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roasting them at a high temperature gives them a nice, crispy exterior.

Alternatively, you can serve this steak with some pasta. A classic pairing would be spaghetti alla carbonara, bucatini all'Amatriciana, or gnocchi alla Romana.

If you want to keep it simple, some steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus would also be a great addition to this meal.

To top it off, if you are really looking to impress your guests, consider making a classic Italian dessert such as tiramisu, cannoli, or panna cotta.

I recommend a full-bodied red wine such as a Chianti or Barbera for this robust dish. You could also try a super Tuscan or Barbera d'Asti.

If you prefer white wine, try a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Orvieto Classico, or Soave Classico.

FAQs

Why Use a Shell Steak for Lidia’s Seared Steak Recipe?

Shell steak is an excellent choice for Lidia’s seared steak recipe because it is a well-marbled cut of meat that sears well. This means that a higher fat content makes for a tender, juicier, and more flavorful steak.

What if I Don’t Have a Cast-Iron Skillet?

If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, you can use any other heavy-bottomed pan, such as a stainless steel skillet. However, in doing so, you may need to adjust the cooking time as cast-iron skillets conduct heat better.

Why Should I Let the Steak Rest After Cooking?

You should let the steak rest after cooking because it allows it to rest before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the steak, making for a juicier and more flavorful piece of meat [1].

How Do I Know When My Steak Is Done?

The best way to know when your steak is done is to use a meat thermometer. For a medium-rare steak, you are looking for an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer your steak to be more well-done, you can cook it to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lidia's Pan-seared Steak With Pizzaioli Sauce

Lidia Bastianich is a world-renowned chef from Italy who has called the United States home for over 50 years. Her fusion of American foods with Italian cuisine has made her one of my favorites.

If you are looking for a source of grass-fed, high-quality beef to use in this recipe, I recommend ButcherBox.


References:

  1. https://steakschool.com/learn/why-you-should-rest-your-steak-after-cooking/
  2. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/safe-temperature-chart

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