Cooking for a cause: St. Pete restaurants fundraise for Amatrice relief efforts

Restaurants worldwide, including locals, are using food to help quake-hit Amatrice.

Two local eateries have joined in the international culinary effort to raise funds for the small Italian city of Amatrice, which was struck by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake Aug. 24.

At the time of the earthquake, the town was preparing for its 50th annual festival celebrating the pasta dish for which it is known, spaghetti all'amatricianaThe next day, Fabrizio Aielli, the Italian-born chef-owner of the Sea Salt and Barbatella restaurants in St. Petersburg and Naples, announced that his restaurants would begin donating 100 percent of proceeds from sales of the dish to help fund disaster relief efforts. On Aug. 29, St. Pete's BellaBrava restaurant announced it would also be taking part.

click to enlarge Sea Salt's spaghetti amatriciana is made with pomodoro, pancetta, onion and pecorino. - Sea Salt
Sea Salt
Sea Salt's spaghetti amatriciana is made with pomodoro, pancetta, onion and pecorino.

Restaurants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and beyond have been using spaghetti all'amatriciana, or other pasta plates, to rally behind the mountain town since the tragedy unfolded.

The two St. Pete restaurants will continue their offers through Sept. 30. Sea Salt will give all proceeds from its $25 spaghetti amatriciana to those affected by the disaster. BellaBrava will donate $2 to Red Cross Italy for every plate of its bucatini all'amatriciana that’s sold. Both are honoring their donations during lunch and dinner.

Sea Salt’s interpretation of the dish features a sauce of pomodoro, pancetta, onion and pecorino, while BellaBrava’s showcases la quercia guanciale, red onion, pomodoro sauce, chili pepper and pecorino.

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