Ciao'd with hot chocolate and whipped cream.

The secret to stovetop steaks? Dry them well, season generously with salt, and cook in a super-hot pan, preferably cast-iron. Turning the steaks frequently after an initial sear develops the deep brown crust that complements the juicy tenderness of the meat inside. Pesto Mashed Potatoes, enriched with buttery, herbal flavor and a hint of garlic, bring the classic mash side dish to another #dolcevitadelish level. 

Serves 4

2 boneless beef steaks, 1- to 1 ½-inches thick (about 2 pounds total), such as New York strip, rib-eye, or hanger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing pan
Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Generously salt on both sides, and season with pepper. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  Pat the steaks dry again. 

Place a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Brush the skillet lightly with olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the steaks and cook without moving them, 1 minute. Flip the steaks and cook 1 minute more. Continue cooking, flipping steaks every 30 seconds. When the steaks are deep brown and crusty on each side, about 4 minutes total, check for doneness.  For medium-rare, the meat should register 120 to 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the steak. (Steaks will continue cooking after being removed from the pan.)

Remove steak to a cutting board and tent lightly with foil. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice ½-inch thick on the diagonal or serve whole.