Hi I'm Jack, weekends are too short, so I love to make the most of the time we have. I also love cooking and occasionally write a blog of the food I love to cook, if you'd like to join me for dinner, click here dinnerwithjack.blogspot.com.au
Published May 27th 2012
My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy in a year's time, which is keeping her 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 her 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!"
A quick look at the contents of the cook book and I found pretty much what I expected, a wonderful array of recipes featuring good home cooking, Italian cooking, interlaced with stories and antidotes of a loving Italian family, the matriarch being Mamma Agata offers many of her secret techniques for cooking up the beautiful dishes.
As the title suggests the recipes are simple and I believe genuine, thus far I have used recipes from this book to prepare my wife a three course meal to celebrate the marking of a year to go until we venture to Italy on our holiday, two of the course were so easy to prepare, it really did make for an easy night in the kitchen. The food was as outstanding as it was easy to prepare.
Sauté of 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 Squid Another 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 overs for lunch on Monday and had all the office looking on in envy as I devoured my lunch. Dessert
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!
There are several more recipes I am eager to try out, with the step by step instruction and photographs of each stage, cooking with Mamma Agata really has been made easy, all you have to do is apply the right amount of love and you cannot go wrong.
Mamma Agata's Simple and Genuine cookbook is available directly from the author at the Mamma Agata Cooking School website, with delivery expect to pay around $50.00 AUD (fluctuates a little according to the exchange rate).