I have heard my husband talk about Steak Pizzaiola ever since I met him! He went to college at the University of Miami in Florida, and he frequented a restaurant called the "Blue Grotto" where they served this dish with spaghetti and a "really greasy garlic bread", all for $4! I have attempted to recreate this dish over the years, without success, but this recipe got his thumbs up. I'm not sure if the flavors of this dish are what makes this dish so special for him, or the nostalgia surrounding its consumption that have stayed with him; but this dish is definitely a winner! Pesto Pasta would be great with this dish! (Adapted from Cooks Country magazine)
4 strip steaks, 1” thick
2 T vegetable oil
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 T. sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, rinsed, patted dry and minced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1 cup jarred, roasted red peppers, chopped
2T. chopped fresh basil
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Rack in middle. Have sheet pan & rack ready. Pat steaks dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T of the oil in large skillet over med-high heat just until it starts to smoke a bit. Sear steaks on both sides and place on wire rack. Roast steaks in the oven for about 8 minutes. Transfer to platter, cover and let rest while preparing sauce.
Add mushrooms, onion, ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining (1T.) oil to skillet. Cook until mushrooms and onions are softened, and starting to brown, 8 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until fragrant. Add vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, until thick and syrupy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add drained tomatoes to empty pan and cook until deep red and dry, about 3 minutes. Stir in peppers, reserved tomato juices, and mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minute.
Off the heat, stir in the basil, taste and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon sauce over steaks and serve. (The sauce can be made in advance, the reheated in the skillet that the steaks were seared in. Do ahead is a great time-saver!)