The chef shares the recipe that won fan favorite honors at the New York City Wine & Food Festival
Makes 15 to 20 meatballs
½ small loaf stale Italian bread, torn into 2½-in. chunks
½ lb. 80% lean ground beef
½ lb. ground veal
2½ cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and pepper
4-5 cups your favorite marinara sauce
1. Soak bread in warm water to cover for 5 minutes. Squeeze chunks gently to remove excess water. Place in a large bowl. Add beef, veal, garlic, parsley, egg and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Knead mixture with hands for a full 5 minutes until combined. Shape a heaping tbsp. of meat into a ball. Repeat.
2. Fill a 10-in. skillet halfway with canola oil and cook over high heat. Gently slide 8 to 10 meatballs at a time into skillet. Reduce heat to medium and fry, turning once, about 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a bowl. Heat meatballs in sauce for 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti.
A classic, down-home dessert from the singer and host of Food Network’s Trisha’s Southern Kitchen
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 9-in. deep-dish pie shell, unbaked
1 cup pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 325. Beat the sugars with the eggs in an electric mixer until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add butter, vanilla, milk, flour and chopped pecans. Pour the mixture into the shell. Arrange pecan halves on top of the pie in a circular pattern.
2. Bake the pie for 55 minutes. Check for doneness by shaking the pan slightly. The pie should be firm, with only a slight jiggle in the center. It will set more as it cools. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream, or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe adapted from Yearwood’s Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen