Sicilian Steak & Fregola Sarda with Tomato Sauce & Toasted Pine Nuts

Sicilian Steak & Fregola Sarda

with Tomato Sauce & Toasted Pine Nuts

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s steak gets an exciting twist from a classic southern Italian preparation. We’re searing the steak for a flavorful crust, then adding it to a vibrant tomato sauce—made with garlic, capers, and fresh oregano—to gently finish cooking. To complete the dish, we’re also tossing in fregola sarda (little pearls of toasted semolina pasta) and pine nuts, pan-toasted first to bring out their rich, slightly sweet notes.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    770 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Pick the oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Remove from heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Toast the pine nuts:
3 Toast the pine nuts:

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium, dry pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.

Sear the steak:
4 Sear the steak:

While the pasta continues to cook, pat the steak dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steak and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

Make the sauce & finish the steak:
5 Make the sauce & finish the steak:

While the pasta continues to cook, to the pan of reserved fond, add the garlic, capers, half the oregano, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Add the seared steak (and any juices from the plate) and cook, occasionally stirring the sauce, 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Turn off the heat. Leaving the sauce in the pan, transfer the finished steak to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Finish the pasta & plate your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & plate your dish:

While the steak rests, to the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta, toasted pine nuts, butter, and remaining oregano. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Cook on low, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) on the rested steak; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Divide the sliced steak and finished pasta between 2 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Pick the oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.

2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Remove from heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the pasta:
Toast the pine nuts:
3 Toast the pine nuts:

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium, dry pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.

4 Sear the steak:

While the pasta continues to cook, pat the steak dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steak and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

Sear the steak:
Make the sauce & finish the steak:
5 Make the sauce & finish the steak:

While the pasta continues to cook, to the pan of reserved fond, add the garlic, capers, half the oregano, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Add the seared steak (and any juices from the plate) and cook, occasionally stirring the sauce, 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Turn off the heat. Leaving the sauce in the pan, transfer the finished steak to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

6 Finish the pasta & plate your dish:

While the steak rests, to the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta, toasted pine nuts, butter, and remaining oregano. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Cook on low, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) on the rested steak; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Divide the sliced steak and finished pasta between 2 dishes. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & plate your dish:
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