To be fair, the town in question is Italy’s Amatrice, home of the famed amatriciana — a classic combination of pork jowl, Pecorino cheese, Italian tomatoes, chili, and white wine. The residents take their sauce seriously. So Michelin-starred celebrity chef Carlo Cracco probably regrets his appearance on Italian TV wherein he revealed that his version of the sauce contains a secret ingredient: the tiniest hint of garlic.
This is apparently not okay. In fact, the chef’s secret ingredient outraged the people of Amatrice, who fight among themselves over even the sacrilege of using rigatoni instead of spaghetti or bucatini, and Mayor Piergiuseppe Monteforte promptly registered the town’s dismay:
Use one ingredient for another, it changes not only the flavour of a dish but also the history of it. If you use ingredients like garlic or onion in an amatriciana, it means you are ignoring a pastoral tradition that is almost 1,000 years old, passed down from generation to generation.
Cracco hasn’t really weighed in on the town’s opinion, but his sizable fan base has, posting “Je suis Carlo” messages to social media:
The good news for chef Cracco is that the people of Amatrice are ready to let him back into their good graces, provided he comes to his senses. On their official Facebook account, the town council said: “We are confident that this was a slip of the tongue by the celebrity chef, given his professional history.”
To make things even easier, the mayor’s office provided the official, and apparently only, recipe:
• 500 grams of spaghetti
• 125 grams of guanciale from Amatrice
• a spoon of extra virgin olive oil
• a drop of dry white wine
• six or seven tomatoes from San Marzano, or 400 grams of canned, peeled tomatoes
• some chili
• 100 grams of grated pecorino also from Amatrice
Feel free to deviate from the above list of ingredients only if you’re willing to incur the wrath of an entire Italian community.