Rigatoni with Sliced Steak and Tomato-Vegetable Sauce

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This substantial dish is a good example of how a small amount of beef can be used to flavor plenty of vegetables, tomatoes, and pasta. If you have fresh herbs on hand, add a little fresh thyme or oregano.


  • ½ pound boneless sirloin steak, well trimmed, about ¾ inch thick
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) onion
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) carrot
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) celery
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green beans
  • ¼ cup water or reduced-sodium canned beef broth, fat skimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style plum tomatoes with basil, with juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound rigatoni, ziti, or penne
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or oregano leaves (optional)


    1. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly upon contact. Add the steak; brown quickly on both sides, shaking the pan occasionally. Set steak aside on a plate.
    2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, green beans, and water to the skillet, stirring to combine ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender but not brown, about 12 minutes.
    3. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and red pepper. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes, until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
    4. Put the steak and any juices that accumulated into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the sauce over the steak. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let stand while cooking the pasta.
    5. When the water comes to a boil, add salt. Cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain.
    6. Cut the steak into very thin slivers of random lengths. Briefly reheat the sauce. Stir in the steak and any juices and correct the seasonings. Spoon half of the sauce into a serving bowl or dish, top with the pasta, then with the remaining sauce. Toss. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once, passing a pepper mill, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese separately, and fresh thyme or oregano leaves, if desired.