It’s barely been a week since a 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy, killing hundreds and injuring thousands more. Of the 292 confirmed dead, 231 were found in Amatrice, a small town about 70 miles from Rome. While the world has been quick to send in aid, one particular story stands out.
Several independent efforts have sprung up to use the town’s signature dish — spaghetti all’ amatriciana — to help relief efforts.
Spaghetti all’ amatriciana is essentially a spaghetti dish served mostly with tomato, a little cured pork cheek, sheep’s milk cheese and a touch of hot chili — at least in its pure form. But there are many versions out there, especially in the U.S.
Paolo Campana, a graphic artist and blogger, launched the idea on his Facebook page just four hours after the earthquake destroyed Amatrice.
“We need to move quickly,” he wrote, suggesting that everyone give one euro (about $1.13) for each plate of pasta all’amatriciana they bought and ate.
Apparently independently, Foodiamo, an Italian-food-focused website, is organizing a fundraising campaign with several Italian restaurants in Los Angeles.
In Italy, too, the idea is feeding people’s desire to help.
In just two days, Campana said on Facebook, more than 700 restaurants had agreed to raise money this way.
Restaurants in Assisi (46 miles northwest of Amatrice) are adding the dish to their menu and will give one euro (some reports say two) per portion served.
While Amatrice may forever be changed by this earthquake, it’s heartwarming to know that a humble pasta dish that calls this town home is doing its bit to help everyone get back on their feet.