One of the most iconic dishes of Roman cookery, stracetti con arugula, or straccetti con la rughetta, or ‘little rags’ of beef with arugula, is also one of the simplest of all to prepare. The technique is quite close to an Asian stir-fry and, like a stir-fry, it takes literally only seconds to prepare.
I discovered this dish on a recent trip to Rome with my wife for our wedding anniversary. It was so fresh and so full of flavour that it came to dominate our choice of lunch for the entire trip!
The secret to great straccetti con arugula (literally, “little rags”) is using good olive oil, very thin slices of beef and just the right amount of salt and pepper. The juices from the beef and the oil create a flavourful sauce perfect for mopping up with hunks of bread.
Beef Stracetti con Arugula
- 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and lightly crushed but still intact
- 500 g Beef rump very thinly sliced
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups Baby rocket leaves
- Fresh crusty bread to serve
- Place a large frying pan over a high heat and add the oil and garlic. When the oil is hot and the garlic starts to brown, scatter in the slices of beef. Season well with salt and black pepper.
- Allow the beef slices to sit for a minute until they start to brown, then toss the pan to flip and mix the slices.
- Scatter the rocket leaves on top. As soon as the rocket leaves start to wilt, remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread.