The connection between the adjective ‘pizzaiola’ and pizza is that of their both being from Naples in origin and of three ingredients that were the staple for a neapolitan pizza: tomato sauce, garlic and oregano.
Carne alla pizzaiola means cooking fairly thin slices of beef in a pizzaiola sauce made up of …. you guessed it: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and oregano.
Maybe our grandmothers cooked the meat for a long long time … but for a long long time since then, it is now considered a ‘fast’ way of dealing with dinner. The cooking is deceptively easy to get wrong … and once or twice I have been offered ‘pizzaiola’ meat that was very tough to chew. So the answer is to cook the meat as briefly as possible.
Olive oil in the saucepan, together with cloves of garlic and a spray of dried oregano. Turn the heat on very low so as to cook the garlic very gently. Once it has turned an attractive golden colour, it can be removed (I prefer to leave it in).
I had previously made some ‘cicoria saltata in padella’ – that is stewed chicory greens that are then cooked with olive oil, garlic and a few fresh tomatoes.