As the town of Amatrice, Italy, continues to dig through crumbled homes in search of victims from Wednesday’s devastating earthquake, restaurants and celebrity chefs around the world are coming together to support the community through its most famous commodity – Pasta Amatriciana.
Hundreds of restaurants across Italy, and many more throughout Europe, have agreed to donated two euros for every serving of Amatriciana pasta sold.
The centre of historic Amatrice, located about 140 kilometres east of Rome, was devastated Wednesday when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck in the early hours of the morning; an image one survivor described as a scene from Dante’s Inferno – otherwise known as the descent through hell.
The quaint village, voted one of Italy’s most beautiful towns just last year, was preparing to hold an annual festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of its famed spaghetti — all’Amatriciana — this weekend. Dozens of people were believed to be in town for the famed food festival.
Amatrice’s mayor said the bodies of 15-20 tourists were believed to be under the rubble of the town’s Hotel Roma, which he said had about 32 guests when it collapsed following the quake.
The pasta – which consists of a traditional Italian tomato sauce, cured pork cheek and pecorino cheese – will now be used as a way to help the community heal.
“In support of the victims of the earthquake in Italy me and my 700 chefs at Jamie’s Italian are cooking the specific dish from the area ‘Pasta Amatriciana’ it will be on the specials board tonight at @jamiesitalianuk for the rest of the month £2 from each dish will go straight to the international Red Cross,” wrote celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on Instagram.
“Sadly this activity will run for months to come as it will take time to relocate people in new accomodations. But we can support for the same time — every bit of help will count.”
According to CNN, over 600 restaurants across Italy have vowed to donate a portion of Pasta Amatriciana sales to the Red Cross.
The original earthquake was powerful enough to be felt in Bologna to the north and Naples to the south, both more than 220 km from the epicentre.
Many of those killed or injured were holidaymakers in the four worst-hit towns — Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, Arquata del Tronto and Accumoli — where seasonal visitors swell populations by up to tenfold during the summer. That makes it harder to track the deaths.
On Thursday, Global Affairs Canada confirmed at least one Canadian was killed during the earthquake.
— With files from Reuters