Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer
For the meatballs: In a bowl, combine the beef, pork, veal, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Whip with a whisk until fluffy.
Fold the ricotta mixture into the meat mixture. Form the mixture into golf-size balls. Pour about 2 inches of canola oil into a frying pan and slowly bring the temperature to 350 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Fry the meatballs until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the lined plate.
For the sauce: Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is lightly brown, 30 seconds.
Deglaze with the marsala, then add the stock and cook, stirring, until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook, 30 minutes. Add the basil.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook to al dente, about 13 minutes.
Add the strained penne to a large saute pan and ladle in some of the sauce, then cook over high heat just long enough to coat the pasta and simmer the sauce. Lower the heat and add the grated Parmesan. Toss in the pan to coat well. Serve with immediately with meatballs.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.