The ‘marinara’ sauce is perhaps the simplest quick yet most delicious recipe of Neapolitan tradition: it consists only of garlic, tomatoes and oregano.

The best kind of meat to enjoy this traditional recipe from Naples is certainly a good cut of lean beef, although veal and chicken are also a viable alternative. You can also prepare mushrooms in this sauce!

We wrote about using this sauce to dress a good plate of spaghetti: Italian Marinara Sauce for Spaghetti. for this reason when this sauce is used to spice up a simple steak, Italians say such meat is cooked ‘alla pizzaiola’, which roughly means ‘the pizza way’.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: <5 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins

  • Beef steaks: 400 g
  • Peeled Tomatoes or Tomato sauce : 500 g
  • Garlic cloves: 3
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 3 tbsp
  • Oregano, dried: a generous handful
  • Salt : to taste


You can leave the steaks whole or cut them into slices, not too small and not cut too thin though.

Peel the garlic and chop the tomatoes in fairly big chunks. Heat up the oil in a big pan and brown the garlic.

You can remove the garlic from the pan or leave it, as you prefer. Add tomato sauce, the oregano and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Tip: If you’re using tomato sauce, make sure to cook it long enough that it starts drying up.

Place the steaks to cook directly in the pan by covering them with a spoonful of the tomato and oregano sauce you prepared. Stir fry them for at most 1-2 minutes on each side, the tomato sauce will have to thicken a bit; be careful to not cook the meat too much or it will dry out and become chewy.

Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil.

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