Thursday 07 November, 2013

How to Make a Lavo Las Vegas Italian Meatball


As the season changes and things get cooler in the Northern Hemisphere, our thoughts turn away from salads and sashimi and towards heartier heartwarming fare, like the classic Italian meatball.

A few weeks ago (okay, okay, many weeks ago!), Executive Sous Chef Marc Marrone at LAVO in the Palazzo Las Vegas was kind enough to show a few colleagues and me how to make their signature Kobe meatballs. It's not the hardest recipe, but not the most simple either, so you'll want to make a large enough quantity to make it worthwhile. This recipe makes four 1 lb meatballs.

I don't personally feel using ground Kobe (or even American Wagyu) is necessary, but I would select quality ground round or sirloin with a moderate fat ratio.


• 1 lb ground Kobe beef • 1 lb ground sweet sausage • 1 lb ground veal • 2 oz salt • 1 oz ground black pepper • 2 oz dry plain breadcrumbs • 1 oz fresh white bread • 2 oz milk • 1/2 oz chopped basil • 1/2 oz chopped parsley • 2 oz grated Romano cheese • 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese • 2 oz diced white onion, cooked • 1 oz chopped fresh garlic


• 20 oz Italian tomatoes in the can • 1/2 oz chopped garlic • 1/2 oz sliced white onions • 1 oz olive oil • a few sprigs of fresh basil • a few sprigs of fresh parsley

Start meatball recipe by combining breadcrumbs, fresh bread and milk in a small bowl. Set aside.


Combine the three ground meats with a little olive oil...


Add onions and garlic.


Take the bread mixture, break apart with hands and mix in gently.


Add both cheeses...



Then the basil, parsley, salt and pepper...


Form gently into large baseball size...


Chef Marc demonstrates his technique of gently tossing the ball from hand to hand to form.

Brown the meatballs in 3 oz of hot oil until golden all around, remove from heat and set aside.

For the sauce: heat olive oil in a new pan. When hot, add sprigs of basil, parsley, and onions and tomatoes, season and simmer.

Immerse the meatballs in the marinara and cook on slow simmer for about an hour until tender [Approx 160 degrees F internal]

Plate in a bowl with sauce, top with whipped ricotta, grated cheese and chopped parsley.


Eat! It's getting cold.