‘Tis the season for giving, and this year we’re all about giving back and paying it forward. St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, a South LA community health center that serves patients that have nowhere else to go – including the homeless, unaccompanied minors and anyone that lacks access to quality health care, celebrated the holidays a little differently this year. 

Instead of throwing a winter fundraising gala, as so many charity’s are accustom to doing this time of year, St. John’s decided to partner with one of L.A.’s most iconic Italian restaurants, Terroni in DTLA. Opening the doors to their own local patients and their families, St. John’s threw the ultimate dinner party for over two hundred guests with Terroni’s classic Italian menu – complete with Santa Claus and gifts.

Hoping to share a little more of this holiday spirit, we’re sharing Terroni’s secret recipe for their famous (and delicious) meatballs along with a few snaps of the heart-warming L.A. gathering…

Terroni’s Famous Meatballs
Serves 4


For the meatballs:
1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
1⁄4 cup milk
3 slices of toast bread without the crust
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1⁄2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
canola oil

For the sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
can of crushed tomatoes


For the meatballs:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand. (Use your bare hands for best results.) Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball.

In a frying pan, heat up canola oil, When hot, cook the meatballs until the color looks like a bronze color.

For the sauce:

Heat up a pan and use a 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. When hot add two garlic cloves. After about 3 minutes, add the tomatoes (you can use crushed tomatoes, pelati or tomato sauce “passata di pomodoro”). (If possible use an Italian product since it has lower acidity.) Add salt and let the sauce reduce for about 30 minutes.

At this point, add the meatballs previously fried and let cook for about 30 more minutes.

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