After last week’s 6.2-magnitude earthquake in Central Italy, North End restaurant owners are coming together to put the power of pasta to work. Through Labor Day, all proceeds from each dish of bucatini all’amatriciana sold at participating restaurants will be donated to the Italian Red Cross in an effort to help earthquake victims rebuild their lives.
The restaurants include Ducali, Il Molo, Lucia Ristorante, Mare, Nebo, Nico, Strega Ristorante, and Trattoria il Panino.
Bucatini all’amatriciana, a traditional dish made with spaghetti-like pasta and a pork-based sauce, gets its name from the town of Amatrice. Amatrice is known for being the hometown of many Vatican cooks, and it was hit particularly hard by the earthquake.
“What better way to honor them than with the dish they invented?” said Nick Varano, owner of Nico and Strega.
Frank DePasquale, owner of Mare and Trattoria il Panino, witnessed the devastating effects of the earthquake from Italy, where he was when it hit. DePasquale said of the restaurant owners, who make up a key part of Boston’s Italian community, “It was our duty to assist the Italian residents that were affected by this tragedy.”
Varano added that food stood out as a natural way to help the victims, due to its cultural importance.
“You go to an Italian house, it’s food that keeps everything together,” Varano said. “Food is love. It’s how we show love.” SONIA RAO