What is Pizzaiola Meat?

Oregano is an herb used to season meat pizzaiola.

The Italian dish that food enthusiasts call “meat pizzaiola” has nothing to do with pizza as it is known around the world. While pizza is a crust of dough covered with various toppings, carne pizzaiola is a cut of meat, cooked with tomato, peppers and olive oil. These specific ingredients constitute the traditional “carne pizzaiola” or “carne alla pizzaiola” that authentic cooks can present to their audience. The classic dish also includes the specific herbs oregano, thyme, and sometimes parsley.

Garlic is usually used in meat pizza.

The cuts of meat used to make the meat pizzaiola vary depending on tastes and what is available. Most recipes use meat; some cooks may use chuck or sirloin with all the fat removed. Others use thin strips of meat called ‘fettine’, which are often sold in Italian markets. In any case, the dish is cooked in such a way as to mix the basic elements, with different times and cooking techniques depending on the meat used.

Although the pizzaiola meat dish is often cooked all together, some recipes may require some elements of the recipe to be treated separately as well. Garlic is the main ingredient of the classic dish. In many cases, the cook will first chop and sauté or roast the garlic, or brown it in the skillet, before adding it to the mixture. Likewise, tomatoes can be peeled and boiled separately before being added.

This classic Italian dish is often served with various types of pasta. These can include wide and short penne or ziti, as well as spaghetti or other pasta. Other ingredients can also serve as a garnish for the meat pizzaiola, including anchovies or olives.

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Many of the essentials of pizzaiola meat feature basic flavor combinations that cooks around the world find characteristically Italian. For example, using garlic in a tomato sauce is part of many Italian dishes that have migrated around the world. The use of oregano along with salt and pepper is another classic Italian flavor. Another common technique often applied to this dish is to add a red wine and reduce it before adding it to the sauce.

Italian food experts note that pizza meat is part of a “neopolitan” tradition. This is associated not only with the Italian city and province of Naples, but also with traditions dating back to ancient times that share a Greco-Roman connection. Seeing how these dishes embody regional cuisine can inform the public about the enduring technique of a regional menu and its particular history or foundation in antiquated cultures.

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