Thursday, August 9, 2012

La Notte di San Lorenzo & “Steak Pizzaiola” Recipe

Benvenuti, Welcome…..In Italy, there is always a feast or holiday to celebrate. The Italian people celebrate with gusto everything from family to religion and we can’t forget about the food. That is what is in the heart of every Italian person. Many of their holidays revolve around a religious Holy day or to give homage to one of the many feast days of the Saints. Special traditions of these days could be parades, family gatherings and attending church to say “thank you” for the many blessings of the saints.

August 10th is known across Italy as “La notte di San Lorenzo” or the “Night of the Shooting Stars. These shooting stars are also called Saint Lawrence's tears, or Saint Lawrence's fire. This is to symbolize the sufferings of the Saint during his martyrdom, which happened in the year 258 on this particular night, in Rome. As deacon of Pope Sixtus II, San Lorenzo had been ordered by one of the tyrant Valerian’s judges to offer up the church’s treasures; San Lorenzo presented the poorest of his congregation, and said, “These are the treasures of the Church”. Then the judge ordered San Lorenzo to be burned alive on a gridiron. San Lorenzo bravely faced his death and his famous words were, “I am roasted on this side; turn me over and eat.” He is the patron saint of many things related to fire-cooks, chefs, and bakers. The Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, in Rome was built over the saint’s tomb in the fourth century.
Basilica of San Lorenzo

Scientifically, why do the stars fall during this time of year, you ask? This phenomenon is due to the rain of meteors, which represent the debris left by the “Comet Swift Tuffle,” identified in 1862. Small fragments which are stationed in space come into contact with the atmosphere, resulting in an intense long glow with great speed. The falling of the stars is due to the passage, inside the Earth’s orbit, the asteroid belt of the constellation Perseus. If it is a clear night this year it will be more visible on August 13-14th at the rate of 60 or more per hour in the Northern Hemisphere. As with all meteor showers, the rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours, since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space.

The feast day of San Lorenzo in Rome has become a venue for a huge public celebration. The La Notte Di San Lorenzo starts out on August 9th at the Grand Harbor in Malta Italy, with a spectacular fireworks show. The Gran Finale will be a large pyro musical display where fireworks will be perfectly synchronized to all types of music.

As the celebration continues more than 150 Italian towns take part in an event organized by the Movimento Turismo del Vino called, “Calici di Stelle”. This tradition is dedicated to all those passionate about wine tasting and to reveal the local producers new wine collection. Calici di Stelle is one of the most awaited wine tasting events of the year. Historic and renowned wineries will open their doors to visitors with music and entertainment. Local markets, guided visits, and tantalizing themed menus from local eateries will fill your weekend with splendid memories to last till at least next years celebration. “La Notte di San Lorenzo” or “The Falling Stars” combines fireworks, good food, family and flavorful wines with tradition which is an expression of the local heritage in the streets of Italy. Have fun star gazing and don‘t forget to make a wish!

My recipe this week is called “Steak Pizzaiola.” This recipe is ready in no time, when you keep tomato sauce on hand. The aromatic spices enhance the flavors of the steak and believe me; you won’t be able to get enough. Mangia!!

Steak Pizzaiola”

1 pound boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 onion sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
8-10 button mushrooms washed and sliced thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups of prepared tomato sauce
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Pecorino Romano grated cheese for topping

Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the meat in batches if necessary, on both sides until lightly browned. While meat is cooking put olive oil in another sauté pan and add the garlic, onion, peppers and mushrooms. Cook until soft and caramelized. If you need more olive oil add a little at a time. Once the meat is done sprinkle with the oregano. Stir your tomato sauce and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Now take your vegetable mixture and add to the meat in sauté pan. Next take your cooked tomato sauce and pour on top of vegetables and meat. Stir in fresh parsley and plate. Serve with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese and enjoy. Serves about 4 people according to how big your steak pieces are.

Till Next Time…………

Copyright © 2012 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Very nice explained recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Thanks! This recipe is very tasty besides you can even use pork, or chicken. If you wanted to you could even go vegan and use slices of eggplant. Hope that you enjoy!