Festa della Mamma,
Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Welcome to my May kitchen! This month, I am preparing farm-to-table antipasto, pasta - my husband Rino has already picked our first crop of broccoli rapini in our garden, main courses, and dolce for Mother’s Day. It's that time of year to share your love and appreciation for Mothers, and Mother Nature too.

Considering how important Italian Mammas are, Mother’s Day is fairly a new holiday in Italy. Today, it ìs an official holiday and we can thank Don Otello Migliosi, an Italian priest who lives in Assisi for that. He declared Mother's Day an official holiday on the second Sunday of May in 1957. He went on to commission the Italian sculptor Enrico Manfrini, in 1971, to make a bronze statue depicting mother and child in honor of the special day.
Italian Mammas reign in the Italian family, and although there have been many poems written about mothers, here is a poem written by Neapolitan poet Salvatore di Giacomo (March 12, 1860-April 4, 1934).


Neapolitan poet Salvatore di Giacomo

Chi tene 'a mamma 
è ricche e nun 'o sape; 
chi tene 'o bbene 
è felice e nun ll'apprezza 
Pecchè ll'ammore 'e mamma 
è 'na ricchezza 
è comme 'o mare 
ca nun fernesce maje. 
Pure ll'omme cchiù triste e malamente 
è ancora bbuon si vò bbene 'a mamma. 
'A mamma tutto te dà, 
niente te cerca 
E si te vede e' chiagnere 
senza sapè 'o pecché, 
t'abbraccia e te dice: “Figlio!!!”
E chiagne nsieme a te.
Who has got his Mother 
is rich and does not know; 
who has her love 
Is happy and does not value it 
Because a mother's love 
Is a wealth 
Is like the sea 
that never ends. 
Even the saddest and vilest man 
is still good if he loves his mother. 
A mother gives you everything, 
seeks nothing from you 
And if she sees you cry 
without knowing why, 
she hugs you and says, "O Son!!!" 
And cries with you.


When We Travel Again

As we wane through the end of this trying time of the pandemic, please note all guests can certainly reschedule their cooking programs to a time when they feel comfortable in the near future or beyond. We are always in touch with our family, chefs, guides, teachers, drivers and properties in Italy, and they are starting to reopen as Italy's vaccination process is underway. When everything reopens in Italy, there are strict protocols already in place to keep everyone and everything safe.  Please write or call and we will reschedule for anytime.


Cooking Up New Tours
I've been cooking and writing delicious new Cooking Vacations tours, here are the latest in Venice and Umbria- with more to come. Stay tuned.

Venice-Along The Grand Canal To Saint Mark's Square™
Dreaming of Venice ~ 7 Day


Chef Patrizia’s Organic Farm In Umbria ~ 5 days

Tie On Your Apron
In Online Cooking Classes

Celebrate your next special occasion with hands-on cooking classes that bring your friends and family together. From birthdays to anniversaries or any special event in between, we can create any menu from Tuscan to Neapolitan, Sicilian or Ligurian and Romano to name a few. Our recipes are easy to follow, the food is delicious, and the wine and experience are fun. Roll out pasta while you sip and swirl making your next get-together an experience!

May group cooking classes will be published soon!


A Recipe From My Kitchen

Making risotto is easy. All you need it a little patience, good quality Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone Nano organic rice and a steady hand at toasting the rice.
Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto
Serves 2
150 g of Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone Nano rice - I always use organic everything.
10 Shrimp, large (precleaned and deveined) large shrimp need to be cut into pieces keeping four of the shrimp whole for garnishing.
Butter, unsalted, 2 to 3 tablespoons
Olive oil, extra virgin
1 Bunch of green asparagus, save a few branches to garnish. Clean off the bottoms removing the hard part, and cut into ¼ inch pieces.
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, finely chopped
Vegetable Broth – Have this already prepared.
Ingredients for Vegetable Broth
1 or 2 potatoes, 1 or 2 zucchini, carrots, stalks of celery, fennel or parsley tied in a bouquet with cooking string.
Preparation for Vegetable Broth
Pre-prepare and have ready a simple vegetable broth - starting with about 4 liters of cold water. Place the vegetables into the cold water and cook on a medium-to low flame (depending on your stove and do not boil). When the vegetables are soft turn off the heat. Extra broth can be used for soup.
In a sauté pan, add a generous swirl of olive oilAdd the chopped asparagus and shrimp to the pan. Shrimp will turn pink. Turn off the heat.
In another large sauté pan, melt butter, then add the rice. Toast rice until translucent, stirring constantly for a couple minutes. Once the rice is toasted, add a scoop of vegetable broth, and slowly stir. Continue to stir until the broth evaporates. Continue the process until the rice is close to being cooked (20 minutes). When the rice is close to being cooked, add the shrimp and asparagus to pan of rice. Salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for a few more minutes and serve. Plate and garnish with parsley, then place the four extra shrimp whole on top. 

***The art of excellent risotto is the toasting of the rice and stirring the broth into the rice. 

Wine Pairing Terredora
100% Greco di Tufo

Terredora, which is 100% Greco di Tufo, translates to the land of Dora. Signor Mastrobernadino purchased this vineyard as a wedding gift for his wife named Dora. And thanks to Mount Vesuvious and the sun, this wine has evolved into a smooth, delicious and precious. Greco di Tufo. The grape takes its name from the Greco di Tufo DOCG region of Campania which is located in the town of Tufo.
The grapes have a long ripening season that ensures a brilliant, luminous, deep golden color with flashes of gold and green. This wine's captivating fragrances of white flowers, minerals, citrus, white fruit, pear and apple with a hint of honey make it perfect for pairing with fish. A beautiful white wine with a story as you sip and swirl!


With Love From Italy

Italian Mamma
Includes a handmade, hand-painted ceramic in the shape of an Italian Mamma - this adorable doll sits on your kitchen counter by your sink and cleverly holds and hides your kitchen sponge in on her back side-1 bag of Cooking Vacations oregano, and a Neapolitan pasta recipe. Gift wrapped with festival ribbon - a great Mother's Day gift. Go to Cooking Vacations Market - https://www.cooking-vacations.com/online-shop/

Italian Garden Seeds
Gardens in Italy are a natural must for all Italian families. From olive, lemon and plum trees to vegetable and fruit bearing plants. My fondest memories were growing up with my grandparents Michele, Philomena, Carlo and Edie and great grandfathers Papa Scuncio and Big Papa in verdant clean farmland with infinite rows of healthy plants and trees. What did they grow? Everything! Not only did they grow zucchini, fennel, potatoes, swish chard, cabbage, garlic, onions, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and figs - why there were endless varieties. When a crop finished the season, it was a ceremonial event to harvest and save the seeds for the next season. One intriguing event that always captured my attention was watching my grandfather Michele, an Italian gardener and tree grapher, turn a peach and lemon tree into a two-fruit bearing fruit tree - the results, one tree growing both lemons and grapefruits or growing peaches and apricots - on the same tree. I would watch him carefully cut and bandage one tree while he transplanted the cut branch from the previous tree to the newly cut part of a different tree. He was passionate and a great artisan at that. It was magic in our garden.

If you have a garden and want to grow spectacular seeds from Italy, go to, True Leaf Market, https://www.trueleafmarket.com/products/italian-herb-garden-seed-collection-organic?variant=29391162736755
Cooking Vacations Gift Cards

We have had many requests for Cooking Vacations Gift Cards and we now have them available for online cooking classes, cooking tour in Italy, extra virgin olive oil in our Artisan Market. Email any request to Lauren@Cooking-Vacations.com

To go to our Artisan Market, please click here, https://www.cooking-vacations.com/online-shop/

Book Corner
A September To Remember
By Carol Bumpus
If you haven't heard about it already, Carol Bumpus's book, A September To Remember is out now. Filled with spontaneous writing about traveling throughout Italy - and with a recipe or two - will have you reading, traveling and cooking throught the towns and cities of Italy! Available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/September-Remember-Searching-Culinary-Pleasures/dp/1631527274/ref=sr_1_5?crid=344M46ZSLTHUR&dchild=1&keywords=carole+bumpus&qid=1618974785&sprefix=carol+bumpus+%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-5

Keep cooking and keep your heart alive!
Cooking Vacations


Tele: 617.247.4112  Mobile: 617.306.3678

Boston - Italy