Photo by Chow Ciao

The Perfect Italian Meatball: A Fabio Viviani Recipe


My favorite Top Chef contestant, Fabio Viviani, recently got his own cooking segment on Yahoo!. It’s called Chow Ciao and I have grown to look forward to it each week. The recipes always look good and Fabio is always entertaining with his broken English commentary and smooth Italian charm. After watching his episode on The Perfect Italian Meatballs a few weeks ago, I decided to try it out for a potluck I was going to. They were delicious and a big hit at the party. Plus, they were relatively cheap to make!

Try it without spaghetti the first time you make it though.  Eating them on their own really helps to show just how good a meatball can be when it’s left to play the solo act. You’ll like it, I promise! And if you don’t, blame the handsome Italian man with the supermodel name, not me.


Cook time: 25 Minutes
Yield: 8 meatballs

1 lb. ground beef (90/10)
4 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish

Place all above ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix thoroughly by hand until they are completely combined and the mixture is uniformly firm.

Coat your hands in olive oil, and using your hands form mixture into 3-4 oz. balls

Drop the meatballs into Fabio’s tomato sauce (see recipe here) and add some water so that the sauce can reduce and simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes on one side.

Turn them over, add some more water and cook for another 10 minutes, covering in the sauce with a spoon as they simmer.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped parsley, salt and pepper, more shaved parmegiano reggiano and a drizzle of olive oil, of course!

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