Anne's Blog

Earthquake Solidarity for Norcia: Pasta alla Norcina?

Date: November 3, 2016 - categories: , , , - Leave your thoughts

…..and the aftershocks of the August 24, 2016 earthquake continue…..Epicenter of that shake-up: Accumuli and Amatrice in the region of Lazio. Benefit events for the earthquake homeless centered on pasta all’amatriciana.

Epicenter has moved: Norcia-Preci area was bulls’ eye for the October 30th earthquake. Stronger than the August 24th quake (considered 6 – 6.2/3 on the Richter scale), the recent quake of 6. 5 was even stronger than the 1997 one which damaged our glorious Basilica di San Francesco here in Assisi. No damage at all here in Assisi but aftershocks continue, nerves are frayed.

Fund-raising is now starting for Umbia and the Marches, regions hardest hit in the last seismic movements. I imagine benefit dinners will be centered on the pasta alla norcina, creamy sausage pasta dish of Norcia – and lentil soups of the famous tiny lenticchie di Castelluccio (near Norcia, medieval mountain gem Castelluccio was heavily damaged).

In case you wish to have your own benefit dinner, here’s how to make that pasta alla norcina:

Pasta alla Norcina

Ingredients (for 4 persons)

  • one Umbrian sausage per person (and if you cannot get UMBRIAN sausages, use ground pork and add a garlic clove, as essential ingredient of our sausages)
  • 1 whole medium-sized white onion (yellow fine, too)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (q.b. “quanto basta” – “as much as you need”)
  • dry white wine, q. b.
  • salt, pepper, q. b.
  • 1 – 1/2 c. of heavy cream, but should not be sweet
  • rigatoni pasta (note: 1 lb for every 5 persons)
  • pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese, q.b.


Start pasta water boiling in large saucepan. Salt water.

For the norcina sauce: cover a saucepan with olive oil and when hot, but not burning, add diced onionand simmer until almost golden.


Add sausages, removed from skins and crumbled (or ground pork and 1 diced garlic clove).


As sausage begins to brown, douse with white wine (a cup or so…).



As wine starts to evaporate a bit, add cream and simmer.


As creamy sauce simmers, add salt as needed, generous amounts of black pepper.


Cook rigatoni pasta until al dente and then drain pasta, saving some of the pasta water to add to sauce to make creamier, if needed. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese.


…and serve. Buon appetito!

Read about Norcia – and earthquake damage
Read about Norcia..and la norcineria
Read about Castelluccio and the famous lentils
Read about Castelluccio majesty
Read about earthquake damage in Castelluccio
Read about the curious history of Preci (near Oct 30 2016 quake epicenter) – and earthquake damage
Click here for news on the glorious Benedictine abbey of Sant’Eutizio (outside Preci)
Read about the earthquake trauma  of missing cemetery visits on November 2nd
Click here to read about the August 24, 2016 earthquake damage in Umbria
Read about earthquake benefit dinners
Read more on the benefit dinners following the earthquake
Click here for news on our benefit dinner starring pasta all’amatriciana
Read about San Pellegrino near Norcia, damaged in the August 24th, 2016 quake
Read about – and see – damage to Visso
Read about San Salvatore, near Norcia, lost: che tragedia
Peppa’s home had damage, too, though light damage
Read about Castelluccio di Norcia and lentils as quake solidarity
Read about Norcia’s norcinerie, needing a comeback
Read about Cascia and earthquake concerns there
Click here to read about the Feast of St. Benedict in his hometown of Norcia

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