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Fairway Market and Lidia Bastianich Join Forces to Benefit WNET

By Michelle Michalos
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
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Lidia Bastianich

On Saturday, November 5, 2011, Fairway Stamford and public television host and renowned chef Lidia Bastianich will celebrate food and community in an event to support WNET New York Public Media, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV.

Fairway Market will donate ten percent of sales on Friday, November 4th, and Saturday, November 5th, from its Fairway Wines & Spirits shop in Stamford to WNET as part of Fairway’s corporate sponsorship of the inaugural season of Vine Talk, a series about wine airing nationally on public television.

Lidia’s new series, based on the book of the same title, Lidia’s Italy in America, airs Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on THIRTEEN and Mondays at 8 p.m. (ET) on WLIW21 (check local listings).

Enter to win a prize pack, including Lidia’s new book, Lidia’s Italy in America, a gift card from Fairway, and a THIRTEEN/WLIW21 tote bag!

Watch a preview of Lidia’s Italy in America:

Lidia will kick-off the festivities at 11 a.m. with the signing of her series companion cookbook, Lidia’s Italy in America (Knopf) and her popular children’s book, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen (Running Press Kids).  Filled with adventures and irresistible recipes, both books are  journeys into the heart of authentic Italian cooking.  Wine tasting will follow the book signing at the adjacent store, Fairway Wines & Spirits.

At the event on Saturday, November 5th, Fairway Stamford will feature a free spectacular sampling of LIDIA’S pasta and sauces and Fairway food specials for the fall. Guests are also invited to a tasting of Bastianich’s wines at the Fairway Wines & Spirits shop in Stamford.  (There will be wine tastings on both Friday, November 4th*, and Saturday, November 5th.)

EVENT SCHEDULE:
Fairway with Lidia Bastianich for WNET
Saturday, November 5, 2011
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Fairway Stamford (699 Canal Street, Stamford, CT 06902)
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Book signing: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fairway Wines & Spirits (689 Canal Street, Stamford, CT 06902)
Friday, November 4, 2011
Wine tasting: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.*

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Wine tasting and bottle signing:  12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

*Lidia Bastianich will not be at Friday’s wine tasting.

Sample a recipe from Lidia’s Italy in America:

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti con Polpette di Carne

Photo credit: Christopher Hirsheimer

Everybody loves meatballs. I think meatballs are an example of Americana and they belong on the American table. This is a great and simple recipe. It calls for three types of meat, but a combination of any two—or even a single meat—will work as well.

The recipe makes four dozen meatballs, but you can cut it in half and it will work just as well. The sauce and meatballs freeze well, but are best frozen in smaller quantities (1⁄2 pint, or six to eight meatballs and sauce) so that they reconstitute quickly.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the carrot, celery, and onion in a food processor, pulsing to make a fine-textured paste or pestata. Scrape the pestata into a large bowl, and add the three meats, eggs, oregano, parsley, bread crumbs, and salt, mixing with your hands to combine well.

Roll the meat into golf- ball- sized balls, and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (You should get about forty- eight meatballs.) Bake the meatballs until browned all over, about 18 to 20 minutes. (They do not need to be entirely cooked through, because they will cook more in the sauce.)

While the meatballs are baking, begin the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Toss in the onion, and sauté until it turns transparent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle in 1⁄2 cup of pasta water, and simmer the onion to break it down, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Once the water has cooked away, sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of the salt, the bay leaves, and peperoncino. Let the peperoncino toast for a minute, then pour in the tomatoes. Slosh out the tomato cans and bowl with 4 cups hot water, add to the pot, and stir. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of salt, and bring the sauce to a simmer while the meatballs finish baking; simmer sauce about 10 minutes more.

When the meatballs have finished baking, gently add them to the sauce and return to a simmer. Simmer, shaking the pan periodically to move (but not break) the meatballs, until the sauce is thick and flavorful, about 1⁄2 hour.

As the meatballs are cooking in the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. After the meatballs have cooked in the sauce about 20 minutes, slip the spaghetti into the boiling water. When the pasta is al dente, drain and plop it back into the now- emptied pasta cooking pot. Add half of the sauce (with no meatballs) and toss. Set in a hot bowl, and top with meatballs and additional sauce if necessary.

Serve immediately, offering the remaining sauce and meatballs at the table with the grated cheese.

Makes enough for 1 pound pasta, serving 6 people, plus about 3 quarts extra (total of about 4 dozen meatballs and 3 quarts sauce)

for the meatballs
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon kosher salt for the sauce
1⁄4 cup extra- virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 fresh bay leaves, or 3 dried bay leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon peperoncino flakes
Three 28- ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano

Excerpted from Lidia’s Italy in America by Lidia Bastianich. Copyright © 2011 by Lidia Bastianich. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.