Giant Meatballs in Marinara

Giant Meatballs in Marinara

Giant Meatballs in Marinara, Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family by Trisha Yearwood. Photography © 2021 by Ben Fink.

Trisha's Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family Trisha Yearwood’s fans know that she can cook up a comforting, delicious meal that will feed a family! Like her earlier bestsellers, Trisha’s Kitchen will include new family favourites and easy-to-make comfort foods, with stories about her family and what’s really important in life.

The 125 recipes include dishes her beloved mother used to make, plus new recipes like Pasta Pizza Snack Mix and Garth’s Teriyaki Bowl. Every recipe tells a story, whether it’s her grandma’s Million Dollar Cupcakes or her Camo Cake that she made for her nephew’s birthday.

As Trisha says: “I love to cook now more than I ever have because, for me, cooking is about love. It’s sharing a meal with family and friends and talking about our lives. It’s working out thoughts in my head about what I need to conquer or accomplish while I’m working on a homemade pastry crust. Sometimes the feel of cold butter in my hands working through the flour just makes me see things more clearly.”

Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family is available at and

Giant Meatballs in Marinara

My friend and neighbor, Kathy, is 100 percent Italian. I love her spirit, her sense of humor, and her strong sense of family. When she and her husband, Matt, and her mom, Stephania, come to my house for dinner, I never cook Italian food. I leave it to the professionals! I did convince Kathy to be on my cooking show, and we made our favorite Italian dishes together. These giant meatballs were a hit. If Kat loves them, they’re “perfetto!” These giant meatballs make an impressive presentation, but you can make regular-size meatballs if you prefer.



Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 medium carrot, cut into chunks

1 celery stalk, cut into chunks

1 small onion, cut into chunks

2 large eggs, beaten

¼ cup milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup fine dried bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, sliced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

Kosher salt

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

  1. MAKE THE MEATBALLS: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the parchment with olive oil.
  2. In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, carrot, celery, and onion and pulse to make an almost smooth paste. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then add to the vegetable paste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, ground beef, and ground pork. Mix well using your hands. Form the meat mixture into 6 large meatballs, about 3 inches in diameter, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the meatballs aren’t touching. Bake until the meatballs are just cooked through, about 40 minutes.
  4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE MARINARA SAUCE: Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the oregano, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water and smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the meatballs to the marinara sauce, and toss to combine. Top with the Parmesan and sprinkle with the basil to serve.


Trisha’s Tip

For regular-size meatballs, use about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture per meatball. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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