“The drawings are repugnant,” said Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando,as furious reactions began flooding social media sites.
“I don’t think its useful to comment further as I think that would produce precisely the sought after effect… that is to create a scandal,” and draw attention to the cartoons, he added.
The drawings in the current edition of the French satirical weekly depict bloodied victims of the quake.
The words “penne tomato sauce” appear above a picture of a bloodied and bandaged man, while a woman with burns is described as “penne gratin”.
To their right, a pile of bodies under layers of rubble is titled lasagne”.
The cartoons are captioned “Earthquake Italian style”.
The quake struck central Italy on August 24, with the small town of Amatrice bearing the brunt. The town is the home of the all’amatriciana pasta dish.
Italian Senate leader Pietro Grasso said that he respected “the freedom of satire and of irony,” but added that “I am free to say that all this is disgusting”.
Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris were the scene of a deadly jihadist attack in January last year.
There was a wave of international sympathy for the magazine and its staff after that attack.
The French embassy in Rome issued a statement on the quake drawings Friday, saying that “the Charlie Hebdo cartoon in no way represents France’s position”.