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.
½pound boneless sirloin steak, well trimmed, about ¾inch thick
½cup diced (¼inch) onion
½cup diced (¼inch) carrot
½cup diced (¼inch) celery
½cup thinly sliced green beans
¼cupwater or reduced-sodium canned beef broth, fat skimmed
1garlic clove, crushed
1can (28ounces) Italian-style plum tomatoes with basil, with juice
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the water comes to a boil, add salt. Cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain.
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.