Uniting on quake aid over pasta

Vanessa Gera
Associated Press

Rome — Food lovers and chefs in Italy and beyond are urging restaurants to serve up more pasta all’amatriciana in a move to aid the quake-hit hometown of the hearty dish.

The rustic food, made of tomato sauce with pork jowl and topped with pecorino cheese, comes from Amatrice, which was destroyed by this week’s earthquake and the idea is for some of the proceeds to go to help the devastated areas rebuild.

Residents in the medieval hilltop town had been preparing to host a yearly food festival this weekend dedicated to the dish. Instead, they will be burying the many dead men, women and children killed before dawn Wednesday in the violent quake. Three towns were devastated, with 281 killed, 221 of them in Amatrice.

Italian food blogger Paolo Campana launched an appeal on Wednesday, asking restaurants to put the dish on their menus and donate $2.25 per dish sold directly to the Italian Red Cross, which is participating in relief efforts in the affected areas in the Apennine mountain region of central Italy. Half would be donated by the customer and half by the restaurant.

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said on Facebook Thursday that he and 700 chefs at his Jamie’s Italian UK restaurants, an international chain, will be serving up pasta all’amatriciana and donating $2.65 per dish.