Order you copy of Mamma Agata's cookbook and pasta!

I know that I have been writing about my fall tour and my favorite restaurant in Rome, so now I am going to write about my favorite Italian subject and that is:  Mamma Agata’s cooking program in Ravello.

The other day I received, by mail, my first and best Christmas present.  I noticed the package was sent to: Gourmet Getaways.  I could not imagine who was sending me a package.  I didn’t order anything.  Quickly I got out the scissors and managed to get through layers and layers of packaging tape.  Before my eyes were four packages of Mamma Agata’s pasta and a few other prized treats from Italy along with a thank you note from Chiara.

Well, I could not resist making pasta for dinner.  Each package is sealed with the logo and a recipe on the back.  How clever!  Now you can get first hand recipes from Italy!

My husband and I had a wonderful delicious pasta dinner.  It was  so good he had a second portion.  The texture of this pasta is best described by a smooth surface but a definite al dente center!

Suggestion:  cook according to directions but watch is slowly as you do not want to over cook this pasta!  It must have an al-dente center!  That’s what makes it truly Italian.

For those of you that want to book a cooking class please send me an email and we will work together to get you schedules for the best cooking class in Italy.  An experience not to be missed!

Those that cannot go I highly recommend you purchase her cookbook.  You will think you are in Italy and after looking at these pictures you will want to give me a call and book that flight to Italy and register for her class.

If you have not purchased your cookbook you can do so by contacting Mamma Agata at


HINT:  Best to order the book directly through Mamma Agata's website so that you can get a signed copy!

If you enter Gourmet Getaways in the dedication portion of the order she will know that I recommended you!  Also she will personally send you a signed copy of the cookbook.

Cooking at Mamma Agata's in Ravello!

One of the highlights of this past exclusive Gourmet Getaways tour was to go to Ravello and cook with Mamma Agata.

Our day began early as we had to depart from the Excelsior Victoria hotel in order to arrive in Ravello by 10am.  It was a beautiful day and the ride to Ravello was breathtaking.  Upon our arrival Chiara greeted everyone with a cheerful smile and encouraged us to sit on the terrace and have an Italian breakfast:  Mamma Agata's famous lemon cake and a cappuccino.

Mamma's house is built into the hillside of Ravello with beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast .  Pictures cannot due it justice!  One has to see this to believe this view!  I often wonder what it would be like to wake up to this view every day.  This family works hard to grow their own vegetables and  herbs.  They also have their own lemon trees .    The land is terraced so as to use every available space. 

After we had a chance to collect ourselves we went into Mamma's kitchen and were eager to learn. Everyone was given an apron and folder with notepaper and pens so we could take copious notes. Mamma does not speak English so her daughter, Chiara, translates and together they make quite the team.   The first part of the lesson we concentrated on making eggplant parmesian and fresh tomato sauce.  I has to bake for one hour and then it must rest for about 45 minutes before eating!

Mid way we took a break and explored the working farm and took in the beautiful vistas.  Many of us just marveled at the amount of work that they have to do to  make this an ultimate cooking program. The family works together every step of the way and together they are quite the team.  Even Chiara's children help during the season when another pair of hands are needed.

We returned thirty minutes later.  Mamma then teaches us to make two pasta dishes: one with capers, tomatoes and olives and the other is with sausage, red and yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes. Next comes Mamma's famous lemon chicken. All the ingredients are grown on the farm.

After many glasses of wines, eating  rolled eggplant and tasting the tomato sauces we sit down to a fabulous meal.  The eggplant is so light and tasty, the pasta is outstanding the chicken so juicy and tender. 

 Of course for dessert there is the  lemon cake and no one resisted having seconds.  With all the lemon trees abundant with lemons Mamma makes her own limoncello.  I think it is the best on the Amalfi Coast and I have tasted several brands.  This a winner!  Hands down!

After our dinner Chiara tells everyone about the farm, how Mamma cooked for very famous people and still does and other bits of information.  She kept our attention for quite a while.

Now it is time for us to leave. All of us wanted to stay, but before we departed  we gather for a group picture and hope that the memories of this special day will linger for a long long time. Chiara and Mamma make you feel that you are part of their family. 

This cooking class is the ultimate.  You will not be disappointed one bit!  I cannot wait to go back and will definitely put together another tour.

Tastes of the Amalfi Coast and Rome with Cooking at Mamma Agata's Home

This spring Gourmet Getaways will be hosting an exclusive tour of the Amalfi Coast and Rome in April 2011.  Although this tour is sold out I thought you might be interested in reading about it. Dates:  April 2- 10 2011

Highlights of the trip include:

  • Accommodations at the Excelsior Victoria Hotel in Sorrento and Hotel St. George in Rome
  • Private transfers
  • Pizza demonstration in Sorrento at the Excelsior Victoria hotel by chef Vincenzo Galano
  • Free time to explore Capri
  • Tour of Naples
  • Wine tasting in Rome with a private guide, Katie Parla
  • Private tour in Rome
  • Visit to a limoncello factory
  • Mozzarella demonstration follwed by lunch
  • Cooking class with Mamma Agata followed by lunch


$4200.00 per person based on double occupancy

Single Supplement:$1130.00

Not Included:

  • Travel Insurance - highly recommended!
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses at the hotels: beverages, wine, laundry, room service etc.
  • Tips for guides
  • Other incidental costs:  entrances into museums, finicular to the top of Capri, ferry ride to Capri

There may be an adjustment to the final cost because of the fluctuating euro.

For more details please call:  973 644 0906


Sights of Ravello, Capri, Rome and Cooking with Mamma Agata!

Gourmet Getaways will be hosting another exclusive tour to Italy in September 2011.  The highlights of this tour will include:

  • Accommodations at Palazzo Sasso in Ravelli, a 4 or 5 star hotel in Capri, and Hotel St. George in Rome
  • Welcome Dinner on the first night in Ravello
  • Farewell Dinner in Rome
  • Welcome Drink in  Ravello and Rome
  • Cooking with Mamma Agata

  • Private transfers
  • Tour of Ravelli, Amalfi,  Positano, Capri, Anacapri, and Naples
  • Visit a perfume and limoncello factory in Capri
  • Private tour of Villa Farenesina
  • Breakfast each morning.
  • Tour the National Archeological Museum in Naples
  • Pizza lunch in Naples at one of the oldest pizzerias

  • Much much more!

Dates:  September 18 - 25, 2011

Cost per person: $5850.00 based on double occupancy!  A must!

Does not include:  airfare, travel insurance, meals not mentioned in the detailed itinerary. 

Call for details!  973 644 0906

Talk to you soon!

Limited to 16 people.

Mamma Agata's Famous Lemon Cake.


This fall I combined business with pleasure and took my family to Italy. Having been to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast last year I thought I would repeat some of those exceptional days again, however this time we would all take a cooking class with Mamma Agata in Ravello. We arrived in Sorrento on a Sunday and checked into our hotel. (More about that later!) Early Monday morning we left the hotel and arrived at Mamma Agata’s about 10:30AM. Before I begin telling you about the lesson, let me first describe this magical place perched high on the cliffs above Amalfi.

As the door to Mamma’s house opened and we walked down the steps we were greeted with a panoramic view of the Bay of Salerno, Italian music, and Chiara, Mamma Agata’s daughter and translator. The morning began with a tasting of Mamma Agata’s famous lemon cake. Every mouthful was bursting with the taste of lemons. After we introduced ourselves to the other members of the class we began our demonstration cooking class in a state-of-the-art kitchen overlooking Ravello. As we all watched, with notebooks in hand, we also tasted different cheeses, pickled pumpkin, and olives and sipped local wines.