Jessica Makes Her Husband Arie’s Favorite Dish: Meatballs

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Jessica wanted to make her husband Arie's favorite dish: meatballs.

For some, meatballs might not automatically mean "romance," but Arie loves them.

More importantly, Jessica’s son, Levi likes them too!

The toddler asked for more, said they were “yummy yummy," and said he likes them more than his dad does.  So, does Levi like it? Definitely.

This segment aired on KTLA's California Cooking: Episode 20.

Note: This recipe is just a guideline. Jessica’s cooking philosophy is all about having the freedom to adjust a recipe and improvise in the kitchen based on your personal preferences.

Arie’s Favorite Meatballs


  • 3/4 of white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped

Make the meatballs:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and translucent. Turn heat off before the onions begin to brown.
  2. Add garlic to pan, stir, then transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl.
  3. Pour milk into a shallow dish like a pie plate. Soak bread slices in the milk for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bread from milk, squeeze out extra liquid and break into small pieces.
  4. Add ground beef to the bowl with onions and garlic. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of ketchup, a fat pinch of salt, the egg, the bread crumbs, the milk-soaked bread pieces, the parmesan and the parsley.
  5. Mix everything together with a fork. Add a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few grinds of pepper.
  6. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using a tablespoon, form the meat mixture into meatballs and drop onto baking sheet.
  7. Place sheet into fridge for 20 minutes to an hour to allow the meatballs to firm up.

Cooking the meatballs:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in Dutch oven or large frying pan. Add the meatballs in batches, browning on each side. Do not crowd the pan and do not cook the meat through. Once meatballs are browned, remove them to a plate and start a new batch.
  2. Once all the meatballs are browned, return them all to the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes to the meatballs, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Add basil to the pan, stir.
  5. Serve!
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