Cloudy With a Chance of … a Killer Meatball Recipe

09/27/2013 at 03:47 PM ET

Fabio Viviani Siena Tavern meatball
Courtesy Siena Tavern

Shrimpanzees? Tacodiles? Mosquitoast?

It seems that inventor Flint Lockwood’s machine that turns raindrops to meatballs has gone awry—because those are some of the food-animal characters it’s cranking out in the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, opening Friday.

We hope he’s able to get things back to normal by the end of the flick but, either way, the opening has us seriously craving spaghetti and meatballs. Or a meatball hoagie. Or really, just a giant meatball.

It made us think of Siena Tavern in Chicago, where Top Chef season five contestant Fabio Viviani serves a meatball that’s a meal in itself: a softball-sized orb of Wagyu beef that sits on a bed of tangy tomato sauce and is covered in a blanket of ricotta. Trust us, eat this meatball and you will dream about this meatball.

The thing even has its own Twitter feed.

After consulting with the meatball via some saucy 140-character messages (kidding!), Viviani agreed to share his recipe, made with sirloin instead of Wagyu. Unfortunately, if you want a tacodile, you’re on your own.

Fabio Viviani’s Meatball

Makes 10 6-ounce meatballs

1 hoagie or sub roll

½ cup heavy cream

3 lbs. ground sirloin

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. soft ricotta cheese

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

10 leaves basil, chopped

2 eggs

¾ cup ground Panko bread crumbs

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Zest of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Tomato sauce

1. Soak bread in heavy cream.

2. Combine soaked bread with rest of ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a hand or stand mixer until well incorporated.

3. Place the mixture in the fridge to set, about 2 hours.

4. Roll out 10 meatballs and place them on a baking pan. Bake at 375 degree for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes.

5. Remove meatballs from oven and place in a large pot with your favorite tomato sauce. Simmer for 1 hour until meatballs are extra tender. Serve over a bed of tomato sauce.

—Marissa Conrad

FILED UNDER: Food

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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