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Culture / Restaurants

Tony Vallone Lends a Hand to Earthquake-Ravaged Italy

When Eating Pasta Does Good

BY // 08.25.16

Want to eat a great pasta dish and do your small part to help victims of this week’s earthquake in Italy? You’re in luck, because between now and the end of September, every order of Amatriciana served at Ciao Bello and Tony’s will result in $2 going toward relief efforts in the devastated area. 

“Amatrice is one of my favorite places to visit,”said Tony Vallone, who owns both restaurants. “It’s famous for its black truffles and its salumi. It’s also one of the most beautiful places in Italy. It breaks my heart to know that it was destroyed in the earthquake.”

If you are not familiar with Amatriciana, it’s made with guanciale, Pecorino Romano, and tomato, and it’s delicate and complex and earthy, all at the same time. At Tony’s, the pasta is angel hair, and I tasted the dish today. The guanciale (pork jowl) was rich and possessed just the right amount of salt, and the tomato sauce was creamy with Pecorino. The angel hair was al dente; if you like pasta, you’ll love this. The dish costs $15 at Tony’s, while Ciao Bello will serve it for $13. At the end of September, monies collected from the Amatriciana served at the restaurants will be donated to the Italian Red Cross.

Amatrice, a medieval Italian hill town, was preparing to hold its annual Amatriciana festival — the 50th iteration of the event — when the 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit. Many festival attendees were already in the town and are still missing. The death toll reached 250 this afternoon, and aftershocks are hampering rescue efforts.

Click here to contribute directly to the Italian Red Cross, and if you happen to visit Assisi soon, be sure to order the dish, which is now on the menus of many restaurants in the historic town: every plate of Amatriciana you order will contribute €2 toward rescue and assistance of earthquake victims. Assisi is about 130 kilometers from Amatrice.

Assisi’s head of culture and tourism, Eugene Guarducci, described the move as a “concrete sign of solidarity,” and hopefully it will set an example for other cities.

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