Back to the courses … one of the most important parts … of course!
“Spaghetti of the Farmer” with tomatoes that were grown there is one of the courses we make. They make 1000 bottles of tomato sauce each summer. It’s really a working farm and everyone in the family helps out. It’s a family business and for a day, you’re part of the family as you stand in their kitchen, eat on their terrace and watch as they go along with their daily lives – children going to the beach; village ladies braiding garlic, and a daughter coming into the kitchen for a snack; Chiara’s father came back with family dog and going to work in the garden.You were invisible and were taken back 100 years and just observing the family going along with their daily lives. But, it’s certainly not like we weren’t there – as we were treated like kings and queens. Like you were royalty made to feel good and welcome.
The sausage that was made from the pigs they raised on another property, which had been in the family for 10 generations.For the pasta with sausage and peppers, Chiara softens the peppers in peanut oil to make sure you can digest them more easily.
With every course they poured – not for me, of course – their own wine, which they make without sulphates. It can not be transported, except the cellar to the kitchen. From what I heard it was wonderful – or at least it seemed that way from how much they were drinking.
We all sat down. The size of the portions was gigantic. That’s Italy. And that, was a lunch of a lifetime.
Chiara invited me to come back to work in the garden and roam around as I wanted. I without a doubt accepted the offer.
The face of Chiara just lit up when she saw me. I sat down to a few slices of lemon cake. Today’s guest were a traveling UN. I met people from Canada, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Australia and Cleveland. I started off working in the garden with a family friend. I though heard something that sounded like a cow moo-ing. I saw Chiara’s farther emerge holding an onion stalk. It was a thin tube with a bell-like bottom. He started blowing into it and gets me one. Suddenly we start blowing them all around the garden. I get one for a boy I met from Canada. We started blowing the onion stalks all around the garden.
My visits to Mamma Agata were major highlights of our trip to the Amalfi Coast. I will remember those moments forever because they’re funny, interesting and insightful. If there was a best part, I’d have to say it was getting to go back was eat the whole, gigantic meal over again. Guess I have to make that two lunches of a lifetime.