Grilled Flank Steak with Piedmontese Tomato Sauce

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From one of our favorite recipe sources, La Cucina Italianathe magazine for Italian Cooking and Living. Great, simple, delicious and different recipes!


STEAK2 teaspoons fennel seeds2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak (3/4 inch thick)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1 medium tomato, cored and roughly chopped

1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2/3 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Fine sea salt

3 tablespoons freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: a mortar and pestle; parchment paper



FOR STEAK: Combine fennel seeds, peppercorns and salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind to a fine powder. Place steak in a baking dish; rub on all sides with ground spices and oil. Marinate, chilled, 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare sauce.

FOR SAUCE: In a large skillet combine bell pepper, tomato, onion, oil and pinch salt. Bring to a simmer. Gently simmer, covered, until vegetables are very soft, about 12 minutes. Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, 1 minute more. Pass sauce through the medium and then the small holes of a food mill, then transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare a charcoal grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas). Remove marinated steak from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you prepare tortini.

FOR TORTINI: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat oven to 375 and set rack in middle of the oven.

In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, garlic, parsley and pinch salt; toss together to combine. Cook until zucchini is tender, about 3 minutes; remove from heat.

On prepared baking sheet, overlap enough of the zucchini to form 4 single-layered, 3-inch rounds. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon cheese. Repeat with remaining zucchini and cheese to form 4 (4-layered) tortini.

Grill steak 4 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board to rest. While steak is resting, bake tortini until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Transfer tortini to serving plates. Slice steak. Serve with tortini and sauce.



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