Fabio Viviani’s Meatballs Recipe

Beef meatballs with cheese and breadcrumbs from Top Chef star Fabio Viviani.


1 lb. ground beef
4 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Step 1: Place all ingredients except the tomato sauce, parsley and the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium-size bowl and mix thoroughly by hand until they are completely combined and the mixture is uniformly firm.

Step 2: Coat your hands in olive oil and form balls slightly bigger than a golf ball.

Step 3: Heat the tomato sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, then drop the meatballs into the sauce and add enough water to allow the sauce to reduce and simmer but not so much that the sauce is totally liquid. Cook for about 10 minutes on one side, then turn the meatballs over, add some more water, and cook for another 10 minutes, using a spoon to cover the meatballs with the sauce as they simmer. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Serve with chopped parsley, salt and pepper, more Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Makes 8 meatballs

See more recipes from Fabio Viviani.

Reprinted with permission from Fabio Viviani’s Fabio’s Italian Kitchen (2013 Hyperion Books).