Fox’s Lilian Huang Woo gets tips for mom-worthy meals from celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia and Milk Street Founder Chris Kimball.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Prova Pizzabar



Mama’s Maria’s Meatballs
(Serves 8-10)

1 small loaf stale Italian bread (about 8 thick slices) torn into 2 1/2″ chunks
2 lbs. 80% lean ground beef chuck, broken up
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil for frying
Put bread in a bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes,
turning to moisten evenly. Gently squeeze out excess water.
Add beef, garlic, parsley, egg and ¾ cup of Parmigiano to the bread and combine. Season
with Salt and pepper. Knead the mixture for at least 5 minutes with your hands, until
uniformly combined and smooth.
Pinch a tablespoon of meat into your palms and shape into a ball. Place on a baking sheet
and continue with the rest of the mixture.
Fill a 10″ skillet halfway with canola oil and heat over high heat. When strands form
along the bottom, lower 8-10 meatballs at a time into the oil. Do not overcrowd. They
should be ¾ submerged in oil. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 6-7 minutes each
side, turning only once.
Remove the meatballs from the oil and turn the heat back up to high before starting the
second batch.
20 minutes before serving, add the meatballs to the simmering ragu.
(Serves 8-10)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 ½ lbs (6-8) meaty, bone-in-pork spareribs, rinsed
1 ½ lbs (6-8) sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds, pierced all over with a fork
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup red wine
3 (35 oz.) cans tomato puree
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Warm olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat.
Add celery and onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, partially covered about 5
minutes until golden and soft.
Add meats and raise the heat to medium-high. Sauté, turning occasionally until browned
all over.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it
evaporates, 5 minutes.
Add tomato puree, basil, salt and pepper. Partially cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.
Let it simmer 1 ½-2 hours.

Mama Maria’s Meatballs
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Donatella Arpaia

Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake beets until tender. Allow beets to cool.
Peel and cut the beets into ½” pieces.
In a small bowl whisk the mustard, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Place the arugula in a salad bow. Add the beets. Toss with some of the dressing. Then add the cheese and the nuts.
Drizzle with more of the dressing, to taste.

Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake beets until tender. Allow beets to cool.
Peel and cut the beets into ½” pieces.
In a small bowl whisk the mustard, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Place the arugula in a salad bow. Add the beets. Toss with some of the dressing. Then add the cheese and the nuts.
Drizzle with more of the dressing, to taste.

Fennel-Rosemary Porchetta
from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Kitchen

Recipe: Fennel-Rosemary Porchetta
Start to Finish: 1½ days (30 minutes active)
Servings: 8

Transforming a whole hog tradition into a home cook-friendly holiday pork roast was challenging. We tried a variety of cuts of meat. After testing recipes with pork loin (too dry) and pork belly (too fatty), we settled on a boneless pork butt roast. To replicate the bold flavors of fresh herbs, fennel and garlic used to season traditional porchetta, we made a seasoning paste with rosemary and oregano, as well as 20 cloves of garlic and more than ½ cup fennel seeds. Because the whole hog is used in Umbria, porchetta benefits from a blend of different cuts. To achieve this, we added pancetta (seasoned, un-smoked pork belly), which lent a richness to the filling and, along with butter, helped baste the roast from the inside out. A separate rub of brown sugar, salt and ground black pepper helped season the exterior as well as contribute some tasty browned bits. A simple jus of de-fatted pan drippings combined with fresh lemon juice, fruity olive oil and more pepper added extra flavor and moisture to the slices of perfectly seasoned, slow-roasted pork. To further drive home the fennel–a key flavoring of the dish in Italy–we used the time–as well as the pan–while the roasted pork rests to roast wedges of fresh fennel. Be sure to buy a boneless pork butt, not a boneless picnic roast; both are cut from the shoulder, but the butt comes from higher up on the animal and has better shape for this recipe. All told, you will need 10 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed–the larger amount is used for the roast and the rest seasons the sauce. To be efficient, grind all of it at once by pulverizing 11 tablespoons in a spice grinder. The longer the pork rests, the easier it will be to slice. Porchetta leftovers make great sandwiches, thinly sliced and served on crusty bread or ciabatta rolls. Any leftover roasted fennel would be great on the sandwich, as well.

Don’t cut short the porchetta’s resting time. The roast is much easier to slice after it rests for the full hour.

For the roast:
7- to 8-pound boneless pork butt
8 ounces pancetta, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, room temperature
1 cup (1½ ounces) lightly packed fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup (1 ounce) fresh oregano leaves
20 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ground fennel, divided
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

For the sauce:
¾ cup pan juices
? cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground fennel

To prepare the roast, remove any twine or netting around the pork. Locate the cut made to remove the bone, then open up the roast. Using a sharp knife, continue the cut until the roast opens like a book; do not cut all the way through, as the meat must remain in one piece. Using the tip of a paring knife, make 1-inch-deep incisions into the pork, spaced about 1 inch apart; do not cut all the way through the meat. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the pancetta until coarsely chopped, about 15 pulses. Add the butter, rosemary, oregano, garlic, pepper flakes, ½ cup of the ground fennel and 2 teaspoons salt. Process until the mixture forms a spreadable paste, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed. Spread the paste evenly over the interior of the pork, pressing the paste into the cuts. Roll the roast into a tight cylinder, then set it seam side down.

Cut 7 to 9 pieces of kitchen twine, each 28 to 30 inches long. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons ground fennel, 1 tablespoon salt, the brown sugar and pepper. Rub this mixture over the top and sides of the roast. Using the twine, tie the roast at 1-inch intervals; you may not need all of the twine. Trim the ends of the twine. Wrap the roast tightly in plastic, transfer to a large baking dish and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the middle position. Set a roasting rack in a roasting pan and pour 4 cups water into the pan. Unwrap the roast and set it fat-side up on the rack. Roast until the center registers 195°F, 6 to 7 hours.

Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 1 hour. Reserve the liquid in the pan.

While the roast rests, make the sauce. Pour the liquid in the roasting pan into a fat separator; if making roasted fennel (see sidebar), do not wash the roasting pan. Let the liquid settle for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of the juices, the lemon juice, water, olive oil, pepper and ground fennel.

Cut the pork into thin slices, removing the twine as you slice. Serve with the pan sauce.

Roasted Fennel
Start to finish: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

4 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved, cored and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup water, if needed

Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. In the roasting pan used to cook the porchetta, combine the fennel, oil and salt. Stir until the fennel is evenly coated.

Roast for 20 minutes, then stir. Roast for another 10 minutes, then add the water and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue to roast until tender and lightly browned, about another 10 minutes.


Red, White & Blue Summer Berry Trifle
From Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018

Reprinted from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018
Red, White & Blue Summer Berry Trifle

BERRY TRIFLES MAKE WONDERFUL (and patriotic) summer party desserts. Not only are they gorgeous, they feed a crowd and can be made in advance. The only drawback is that, with all their layers, they can be time-consuming to make from scratch. I save time by using high-quality store-bought ingredients, like crisp Savoiardi biscuits (a.k.a. crisp ladyfingers), cream cheese, and raspberry jam. The result is a dazzling, delicious trifle that can be made in 30 minutes.
Use a deep, clear glass bowl or a footed glass trifle dish so the pretty layers can be seen. And don’t worry if the layers look slightly uneven or if the layers mix a bitthat’s the beauty of a trifle. You can also make the trifle in small glasses as individual parfaits.
Serves 8 to 10
1 1/2 lb [680 g] strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4_in [6-mm] slices
3/4 lb [340 g] raspberries
3/4 lb [340 g] blueberries
3/4 cup [225 g] seedless raspberry jam, best quality
1 1/2 cups [360 ml] cold heavy whipping cream
16 oz [455 g] cream cheese, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups [200 g] confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
One 7-oz [200-g] package crisp ladyfingers (also called Savoiardi biscuits)
Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
1. Set aside a few of each berry for topping your finished trifle.
2. In a large bowl, heat the raspberry jam in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until hot and liquidy. Add the fresh berries and toss to coat. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe, stirring occasionally.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
4. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters) to beat the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in a third of the whipped cream. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until well combined (see Pro Tip).
5. Use a 9_in [23_cm] round trifle dish or glass bowl with a 14-cup [3.3-L] capacity. Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of ladyfingers, breaking into pieces as necessary. Follow with one-third of the berry-jam mixture (including one-third of the juices), then one-third of the cream cheese mixture. Add another layer of ladyfingers, berries, and cream, and then a third, ending with the cream; for the last layer of cream, leave a 1_in [2.5_cm] border around the edge showing the fruit beneath. Garnish with the reserved whole berries and mint (if using). Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
heads up
Be sure to plan ahead, as the trifle needs to sit in the fridge at least 8 hours before serving.
sourcing savvy
Savoiardi biscuits are crisp ladyfingers, usually sold in the packaged cookie section of the supermarket. Don’t confuse them with the soft sponge cakelike ladyfingers from the bakerythose aren’t nearly as good.
pro tip
Folding is a technique used to mix a light and airy ingredient, like whipped cream, into a heavier mixture, like sweetened cream cheese, without deflating the lighter mixture. To fold, place the heavier mixture in a bowl and top with the lighter mixture. Use a spatula to cut through the middle of the two mixtures down to the bottom of the bowl. Pull the spatula toward you, scooping up some of the heavier mixture. In one sweeping motion, fold the scooped up portion of the heavier mixture over the lighter mixture. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the motions, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the ingredients are well combined.

Follow Lilian Woo on Twitter: @LilianNY

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