A Family Kitchen from Amalfi

In the heart of the Amalfi Coast lives a family that for generations has had two passions: good cuisine and literature

By Teresa Grimaldi Savo

Memories from a kitchen by the sea: The Amalfitan Coast with recipes and photos from once upon a time is a book by Teresa Grimaldi Savo, the daughter of Gemma, arguably the pioneer and queen of the local cuisine.

The book is rich of anecdotes about her family.

“Many years ago”, she writes, “when nonna Gemma was very young and had a small trattoria near the port of Amalfi, she had many recurrent clients. Among these was Alfonso Mostacciolo, a sharp businessman who sold ceramics known in the area as Mofone.

When he was hungry he would come in and sit down at a table in the corner of the room. When other clients came in and ordered their pasta he would call out to Gemma saying “a plate of pasta for me too – and a quarter of wine”.

This could be repeated eight or nine times in the evening and at the end he would always try to fool Gemma with the bill saying he had ordered five plates of pasta and five quarters of wine.

But Gemma knew exactly how much he had eaten. “Mofone you’ve had eight plates of pasta and eight quarters of wine!”.

Mofone would always comment “Don’t you believe me Gemma? Do you think I’m some kind of swindler?”

“Oh no, of course not... just refreshing your memory as you’ve been drinking all the wine not me, so pay up and be quiet”.

They always remained good friends.”

                 Teresa Grimaldi Savo

Memories from a kitchen by the sea has also many recipes from Teresa’s family.

We selected just a few, but you would like to have them all, you can buy the book here

Deep fried anchovies by nonna Gemma (for 4 people)

20 Large anchovies (fresh)

3 Eggs

1 cup  Milk

1.7 oz (50 gr) Flour

5 oz (150 gr) Provola cheese (smoked mozzarella)

1 Lemon

Oil for frying

Salt to taste


Using a sharp knife cut off the heads then make an incision along the stomach and remove the insides and back-bone gently so as the fillets hold together. Rinse inside and out under cold running water and dry on kitchen paper. Cut 10 pieces of the cheese lengthwise. Put one piece on each anchovy, cover with another anchovy and press lightly. Dip in flour, then in the eggs that have been whisked with a little milk and salt. Deep-fry in hot oil a few at a time. Serve warm with a slice of lemon and cool white wine.

Marinated Anchovies (for 4 people)

30 Medium sized, fresh anchovies

4 Lemons

1⁄2 glass White wine vinegar

1 Hot pepper

1 clove Garlic

a few leaves Parsley (chopped)

a little Extra virgin olive oil

a pinch Salt


Clean the fish. Using a sharp knife cut off the heads then make an incision along the stomach and remove the insides and backbone gently so as the fillets hold together. Place the anchovies not to close to each other in a strainer. Place them in layers in a glass dish that can be closed tightly, topping them with lemon and salt. Add the white wine vinegar. Close the dish tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. When they are to be served, drain them well and place on a serving dish with oil, a little chopped hot pepper, garlic and parsley.

Zucchine by grandmother Rosina (for 4 people)

8 Zucchine (small)

1 clove Garlic

a few leaves Mint leaves

a pinch Salt

Oil for frying

a sprinkle White wine vinegar


Wash and dry the zucchini. Slice them in thin round slices. Fry them golden and place them in layers in a bowl or serving dish. Add salt, mint leaves and garlic. Sprinkle with the white wine vinegar and let it rest for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Mussels Sauté (for 4 people)

3.3 lbs (1,5 kg) Mussels

a few sprigs Parsley (chopped)

approx 1 cup Olive oil

2 cloves Garlic

1 Chili pepper


Scrub and clean the mussels under running cold water. Let them lay under the running water until the water is clear. In a deep saucepan add oil and garlic. When the garlic has turned golden add the mussels and cover well until they open. Add the parsley and chili pepper (peperoncino). Mix gently. Cover again and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with oven-toasted bread.

Spaghetti aglio e olio (for 4 people)

½ lbs (500 gr) Spaghetti

6.7 oz (2 dl) Olive oil

4 cloves Garlic

a few leaves Parsley (chopped)

2 tblsp Pine-nuts

2 Anchovies (salted fillets)

2 tblsp Bread crumbs

2 small Chili pepper


In a large saucepan warm the oil, rinse the two anchovies from salt and let them dissolve in the oil. Put in the garlic cut into pieces and the pine-nuts. Let simmer on a low heat a few minutes. In the meantime cook the spaghetti “al dente”, drain and place in the saucepan along with the grated bread, parsley and chopped chili pepper. Blend well over the heat. Serve straight away. Enjoy with a glass of good red wine.

Pasta pie by Marianna (for 4 people)

½ poundSpaghetti


1.8 oz (50 gr) Salami

1.8 oz (50 gr) Caciocavallo cheese

1.8 oz (50 gr) Parmesan cheese grated

4 tblsp Olive oil

Pepper & salt


In a big bowl whisk the eggs with the parmesan cheese, pepper, the salami and caciocavallo cut into pieces. Cook the spaghetti making sure they are well “al dente”. Drain and blend well with the egg mixture. In a large saucepan pour in the oil and as soon as it is warm put in the pasta. Turn down the heat and let it cook and brown on both sides. Place on a plate and let it cool. Delicious with a glass of a light and cool red wine.

Lemon-scented spaghetti (for 4 people)

14 oz (400 gr) Spaghetti

2 Lemons

1.7 oz (½ dl) Olive oil

a bunch Basil, coarsely chopped leaves

a pinch of Pepper

approx. 2 tblsp Butter

Salt to taste


While the spaghetti is cooking place a bowl on a pot with boiling water (this technique is called bagnomaria) add oil, butter, juice of the two lemons, basil, a little ground rose pepper and the rind of one lemon cut into thin strips. Drain the spaghetti and blend well with the sauce. Serve hot with a glass of cool white wine.

Eggplant meatballs (for 4 people)

4 Eggplants (long, dark and firm)

3.6 oz (100 gr) Stale bread

1.8 oz (50 gr) Parmesan cheese

1 clove Garlic

1 tblsp Pine-nuts

a bunch Chopped fresh leaves of basil

7 oz (200 gr) Mozzarella

2 cups (½ liter) Oil for frying (peanut oil)

1 cupMilk

7 oz (200 gr) Breadcrumbs

3.5 oz (100 gr) Flour

2 Egg whites


Heat the oven 250°. Clean the eggplants with a damp cloth and place them in a dish in the oven for 40 minutes. When soft scoop out the pulp gently and place in a bowl. Add the stale bread previously soaked in milk and swell squeezed, whole garlic, parmesan, pine-nuts, basil and mozzarella in pieces. Salt to taste. Mix well and take out the garlic clove. Roll the ”meatballs” a little oval-shaped and press them a little. Roll in flour, the egg whites and then the breadcrumbs. Fry them a little at a time in hot oil. Serve warm with a fresh tomato sauce flavored with basil leaves or with a mixed salad as a side-dish (lettuce, fennel, radishes and carrots sliced “julienne” with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon). Red wine or a fresh beer.

Sausages with a scent of lemon (for 4 people)

8 Italian Sausages

16 Large lemon leaves  

1 tbsp Pork fat or lard



Place the sausages in a bowl together with a little pepper and the pork fat. Mix well. When the fire is ready put each sausage in two lemon leaves and secure with a toothpick. Place over the grill (place also lemon leaves directly on the wood or coal.) Be careful to cook them well but making sure they do not burn. This recipe is best if the sausages can be grilled over charcoal. Serve with a sparkling red wine.

Chocolate eggplants (for 4 people)

10 Eggplants

2 cups (½ lt) Milk (warm)

5 oz (150 gr) Dark chocolate

7 oz (200 gr) Unsweetened cocoa powder

5.3 oz (150 gr ) Sugar

1 oz (30 gr)  Pine-nuts

3.6 oz (100 gr ) Candied cedar fruits (chopped)

4.2 cups (1 lt) Peanut oil

0.5 lbs (1/4 kg) Flour

4 Eggs

1 tbsp Cinnamon

Grated lemon rind

0.85 oz (¼ dl) Rum


Skin the eggplants and cut them lengthwise, not too thin. Fry and place on kitchen paper. Dip in flour and then in the eggs that have previously been whisked and fry them once more. Place on kitchen paper. Mix cinnamon, 1.7 oz (50 gr) of sugar and grated lemon rind in a bowl. Dip every slice of eggplant in this mixture. In a pot put the rest of the sugar, cocoa, chocolate and the warm milk. Place on low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until you notice some little bubbles, turn off the heat and add ¼ dl of white rum. Dip every slice in the chocolate and place in a porcelain or glass dish with lid that will hold a couple of layers. Toast the pine-nuts in a dry skillet and sprinkle over the eggplants. Sprinkle over also the candied cedar. Put the lid on tightly and when cold place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

The Amalfi Coast’s most well-known towns are Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, three jewels, each with its own unique character and beauty and all world renowned. But at the heart of the Costiera is a fourth jewel, Praiano, a less hectic and more authentic town, where many discerning tourists have begun to stay, using it as a base for their Amalfi Coasting. Try Praiano, trust us!

The Amalfi Coast Cuisine, Rooted in Centuries of Culinary Traditions

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