Anne's Blog

Amatrice, Amatriciana, Assisi: a “Triple A” Dinner

Date: September 11, 2016 - categories: , , , - 5 Comments

Wasn’t Triple A an insurance company? AAA?

Three “A’s” linked in early September at our farmhouse when nineteen of us gathered for a spaghetti alla amatriciana dinner as an earthquake fund-raiser. Main dish: pasta alla amatriciana. Origin? Amatrice (near the epicenter of the August 24, 2016 earthquake). Where was dinner? At our farmhouse near Assisi.

A “Triple A” dinner. AAA.

We’d made the amatriciana sauce that morning, Pino slicing the guanciale (pork cheek) into strips for me.


Pino handles the guanciale for our amatriciana sauce…….

For the tomato sauce, tomatoes donated by our farm friend, Chiarina – and bottles of tomato sauce we’d bought from a vegetable vendor (made by him from his tomatoes) on our way back from the island of Ventotene (day after the August 24th earthquake).


Tomatoes “donated” by farm friend, Chiarina, for our amatriciana sauce


Bottled tomatoes from a vegetable vendor, too, in the sauce


Our sauce simmers

We’d asked each guest to bring a summer vegetable dish and a bottle of wine. Nonie brought a grilled vegetable medley and Marina brought us tasty breaded eggplants. I too did an eggplant dish. a Sicilian one, taught me by Pino’s mamma, Signora Vincenza and another of her dishes, marinated zucchini with mint. Potato/chickpea salad and a summer farro  salad, too – with help from our guests.



Eggplants for our vegetable dish flank the sauce on the stove

And three of them came early. Mike, staying in one or our countryside apartments, helped on slicing and dicing – and brought salami from Norcia and cheeses for the dinner. Ann and Warren, staying in our in-town Assisi apartment, also came early to join in on the prep. Warren, glad you are tall: thanks for picking our figs for an antipasto of prosciutto e fichi. Ann, thanks for the help on all the vegetable dishes – and not only


Mike chops the mint for our Sicilian zucchini..




Mike and Ann on the prep work


Ann dicing purple onion for our farro salad


Ann puts together our potato/chickpea salad






Tall Warren picks our ripe figs to pair with the prosciutto – for antipasto.


…and thanks to all three for helping on the table set-up outside prior to dinner. (And flowers not missing, thanks to Ann and Warren!)


Mike and Warren set up the tables




Nonie, thanks for pitching in with Antonella on the cooking up of the spaghetti for 19! You did it: not ONE second past the perfect al dente  moment.




Our feast concluded with Antonella’s dolce. (She never disappoints.)

Antonella’s desserts always star



…and before everyone left, we’d decided together where our funds are going: to the reconstruction of Amatrice’s school. Cultural life should return as soon as possible.



Read more about spaghetti all’amatriciana as a benefit.
Read about Pino’s conviction, too, that culture must return as soon as possible to earthquake-devastated towns
Read more about earthquake damage – and how life goes on
Read more about benefit dinners for Amatrice
Read about spaghetti all’amatriciana at a sagra (food festival) near Assisi


  • Valerie R. says:

    What a lovely article, looks like it was a beautiful evening. Kudos to you, your friends and guests for a successful event. xoxo

  • Judy Thomas says:

    I wish I could have been there for it – it looks wonderful! You did a great thing, Anne…..

  • Susan Pautler says:

    Hi Ann
    What a beautiful celebration with the food and helping hands of your people. You are an amazing lady. Wish I was there to help and enjoy.
    Life is being connected in body, mind and spirit. You know how to make it happen .

  • Lynn says:

    What a fun way to help those in distress. Food, friends and love for all mankind, never gets better than this ????. Another Anne wannabes moment.

  • Yes, wonderful evening, uniting with family, with friends..
    the BEST

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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)