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  • Writer's pictureLydia Gerratt

Beef tagliata with rocket and parmesan (Tagliata di manzo)

Beef tagliata with rocket and parmesan (Tagliata di manzo)

I ate (well, devoured really) this dish in Florence years ago while pregnant with my first son. This was one of the few meals I loved as pregnancy hormones kept messing around with my taste buds – one minute everything was delicious and the next, not so good……

Tagliata in Italian means cut or sliced, as in a sliced steak. When I ordered Tagliata di manzo from the menu I thought it wouldn’t be that taxing for my poor taste buds as a good steak is good. But the seriously peppery rocket, sharp parmesan and lemon moved the flavours up to another level of deliciousness. The oil infused with garlic and rosemary sealed the deal. It worked.

If you ever get the chance to go to Florence, please try and have lunch or dinner at Cammillo Trattoria where I ate this dish. I have eaten here so many times and it is always good. It’s on the Pitti Palace side of the Arno. Bizarrely they don’t have a website, but this review in The New York Times gives you all their details (particularly opening times - they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

Needless to say the little boys loved this dish and wolfed everything down with jacket potatoes (loaded up with loads of butter!).

The Italian recipe always calls for sirloin, but I much prefer the taste and juiciness of rib eye.

Miraculous ingredient: rib eye steak (grass fed and/or organic), fresh rosemary, rocket, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)

Beef tagliata with rocket and parmesan (Tagliata di manzo)


380g Rib eye steak – I like to use just one extra big, thick steak for all the family

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, very finely chopped

Squeeze of lemon juice

100g Rocket salad

Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan)

Coarse sea salt and black pepper to season


Heat a dry cast iron or stainless steel frying pan on a high heat for 10 minutes. Generously smear the steak with olive oil on each side and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the steak. Fry for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. Do not move the steaks in the pan as soon as you put them in otherwise they will stick. Let them first form a brown crust and then you’ll be able to turn them over.

Once the steak is cooked to your liking, remove from the pan onto a warm plate, and cover with foil and a couple of tea towels on top to keep warm. Leave to rest for 10 minutes – this is the most important bit for getting a seriously juicy steak, these 10 minutes give the steak time to relax, soften and release flavours.

While the steak is resting, arrange the rocket on a large serving dish; scatter shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and squeeze some lemon juice all over. Wipe the pan you used to fry the steak with kitchen paper and place on a low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the finely sliced garlic and rosemary. Continually stir with a wooden spatula and whatever you do, don’t walk away from the pan – as soon as the garlic begins to change to a very light golden colour (30 seconds) turn the heat off immediately. You don’t want to burn the garlic and make the oil bitter.

Spoon half the oil, garlic, rosemary mix over the rocket. Slice the steak across the grain (width wise) into long thin strips and lay on top of the rocket. Spoon the remainder of the oil, garlic, rosemary mix over the steak.

This steak and salad dish goes really well with fluffy jacket potatoes.

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking 5 minutes, resting 10 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 child portions.

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