Italian-style steak.
Italian-style steak. Photo: William Meppem

Bored of the barbecue? Then why not bring a little bit of Italy to your next meat dish with this spicy and versatile Mediterranean-inspired sauce.

Crumbed veal escalopes also go well with the Italian tomato sauce. The crumbs give it a really nice texture. If you do use crumbed veal escalopes, try serving them with anchovies and a poached egg on top.

Italian-style steak

4 x 200g fillet steaks

sea salt

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1/4 tsp mild chilli flakes

leaves from 3 fresh oregano sprigs, chopped

1 cup white wine

1 cup tomato puree

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Cut the steaks in half and place them between pieces of greaseproof paper. Press down on them with a rolling pin until they're about 1/2 cm thick, minute steak-style. Season steaks on both sides with salt.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add the steaks. Quickly brown the steaks for about 1 minute on each side, remove from the pan and transfer to a warmed plate.

Add the chilli flakes and oregano to the hot pan, then add wine and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the pan, until the liquid is slightly reduced - about 2 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, stir, then return the steaks to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook the steaks for between 3 to 5 minutes, turning steaks once, halfway through.

Place steaks on a serving dish, pour sauce over them and garnish with the chopped parsley and a good grind of black pepper.

mussel"

Mussel, cherry tomato, pea and potato salad

500g mussels, washed and cleaned

100ml white wine

4 medium pink eye potatoes

30 ripe cherry tomatoes (about 300g)

large bunch of mint

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

4 anchovies

60ml extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves 4

Place the mussels and wine in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and place over a high heat, shaking from time to time. When the mussels steam open, remove them from the pot and drain the liquid. Quickly rinse the mussels in cold water to stop them cooking, remove the meat from the shells and pat dry using a kitchen towel.

Boil the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool, then peel. Cut into chunks and put in a bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the potato. Roughly chop the mint and transfer to the bowl.

In a heavy-based frying pan, gently braise the peas and anchovies in the olive oil over low heat for 30 minutes, or until they are well cooked and starting to lose their colour. Add the balsamic vinegar and carefully season to taste, as the anchovies will be salty. Add the mussels and fold through.

Pour the pea mixture over the potato and tomato mixture and combine. Transfer to a platter or bowl and serve, with extra balsamic vinegar on the side if desired.

HOT TIPS

  • Any seafood works well with this potato salad, especially prawns and scallops.
  • A sweet, waxy potato is needed for this recipe, so kipfler or King Edwards are also good choices.
  • If you like, you can sprinkle microherbs such as mizuna over the salad for a restaurant-style visual flourish.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Sangiovese
The smooth tannins in this 2012 Pizzini Sangiovese from Victoria's King Valley ($29) perfectly complements this tomato-based recipe. It's subtle yet spicy, and packed full of Mediterranean-style flavours.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Kirsten Jenkins.