We are planning a trip to Italy in a year’s time, which is keeping Jo very busy as she surfs the net looking for as much information as she can find about the place, its culture and most importantly its food. Whilst doing this she came across a site for a cooking school on the Amalfi Coast, which is one of the areas I have indicated I very much want to see and experience. The cooking school, known as Mamma Agata’s is perched high up on the side of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, it would be an experience just to visit the property it looks so beautiful. She keeps nagging me, can we go, have you had look, nag nag nag, so eventually I went and had look at the site and some of the food they prepare there, and I have to agree with Jo it does look fantastic.
Whilst looking around on the site I found they had released the third edition of a cook book titled “Mamma Agata – Simple and Genuine” and it was available from their web site. I could not resist so ordered one there and then, it arrived a few days later personally autographed by Mamma and the family with the words “Cucinare con amore in Jack's cucina”, which translates to “Cook with love in Jack’s kitchen!”
I sat down and had a look through the recipes one night last week, then handed the book to Jo and had her pick out 3 recipes to make up a 3 course meal, as I handed her the book I told her I think you really only need to pick the main because I know what you will want for the other two courses, a little while later she gave me the three courses, the only surprise being her main course, Stuffed Squid, the entrée and dessert as I had predicted were to be Sautéed Mussels and Clams and an Apple Tart, know her too well!
Sautéed Mussels and Clams
A very simple entrée, but oh so satisfying, mussels and clams sautéed in garlic and olive oil finished with a squeeze of lemon, very more-ish, served up with crusty garlic ciabbata YUM YUM
Stuffed SquidAnother very simple to prepare dish, packed full of flavour, finished in a tomato puree cooked up with the left over stuffing, beautiful fresh flavours, accompanied by a Mediterranean styled salad, so glad I brought too many squid, took the left over’s for lunch on Monday and had all the office looking on in envy as I devoured my lunch!
Mama Agata’s Apple Tart
If I never made this tart again, I can promise you I will certainly be using the pastry recipe again, unbelievably good! But then so was the filling, I was feeling a little guilty putting this together, felt like I was cheating on my Mother and Grandma, as I have made their apple pie recipe so many times and I love it, always will, but I am going to have to find room for this recipe too, it is so amazing.
So we have celebrated a year to go until our holiday in true Italian style, with good food, really good food, made with love for the one I love, now there is just 364 days to go, can’t wait!
As you can see by the photo's Jo did a great job setting the scene for our evening, she also picked out an amazing bottle of wine for us to enjoy with our meal, an Autumn Red from one of our favourite Swan Valley wineries Windy Creek, a top drop from a top little winery!