Carbonara according to Wikipedia forms part of a family of dishes involving pasta with bacon, cheese, and pepper, such as spaghetti alla gricia. The name is derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal burner), some believe the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers.
I had wondered why and how a day like this came about and thought perhaps something significant happened in history to mark a day as ‘carbonara day’. There have been many theories. One theory on how the carbonara day came about is that although it is thought of a typical Roman dish, the name is said to have derived from the Appenine mountains of Abruzzo by woodcutters who made charcoal fuel. They would cook this dish over a hardwood charcoal fire and use penne instead of spaghetti because it was easier to toss with eggs and cheese. Another theory is that a carbonara was a dish eaten by coal workers or that the use of coarsely ground black pepper resembles coal flakes
According to Barilla, there are two main theories: the most famous suggests that pasta alla carbonara was invented during World War II someone tried to make a pasta dish using the ingredients rationed to the American soldiers – namely eggs and bacon – to toss with the pasta, adding pepper and cheese at the end for more taste. The second theory, instead, suggests that carbonara is the evolution of a dish with ancient Roman origins called “cacio e ova”(or cheese and egg) that was served to the coal miners or carbonari.
Wherever it is from, here is Barilla’s delicious no cream allowed spaghetti with carbonara recipe
13 oz spaghetti
5 oz guanciale (or bacon) (a high quality bacon I used is German Butchery's award winning maple bacon)
4 egg yolks
3 ½ oz Pecorino cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water.
2. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into strips and put it in a large pan. Gently brown the bacon without adding oil.
3. In the meantime beat the egg yolks with the Pecorino cheese and two spoons of boiling water. Add freshly ground black pepper.
4. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and put it into the pan with the bacon: take the pan away from the heat and then add the beaten egg yolks, finally add a tablespoon of cooking water for a creamy result.
5. Stir for a minute and serve the spaghetti with carbonara sauce: sprinkle with the Pecorino cheese and black pepper.
6. Serve hot and I garnished it with some baby coriander.
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