Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a popular Roman dish. It’s easy throw together on a weeknight and is absolutely delicious. We made this Americanized version using rotini which holds the sauce in its swirls.
Although the authentic version is made with spaghetti and requires guanciale, we used American Bacon because we had it on-hand. You may also use pancetta, frizzled proscuitto, or Canadian Bacon – it won’t be authentic, but it will be good!
There are many stories about how Spaghetti alla Carbonara got its name. Typically, it is said that it was made by coalminers because the ingredients are easily transportable and the pasta is easy to make. However, John and I recently attended a reunion for the Overseas School of Rome where I spent grades 8 – 10. Thirty-two of us from a range of classes descended upon Cacio e Pepe in NYC which offers Roman cuisine. Our gracious coordinator, Joan, specifically requested that they serve Spaghetti alla Carbonara. When it was brought to the table, my friend, Flavia, told another story which is the most interesting I’ve heard. She said that this dish was created by members of the Italian Resistance who met in secret during WWII, often in abandoned coal mines, and other underground hideouts and cooked what they could carry with them.
No matter what the story, this pasta is amazing – a true Roman favorite.
We used Mary Ann Esposito’s recipe (hyper-linked above), and carmelized 1/2 onion with the bacon. Be sure to add lots of fresh cracked pepper!
|Gourmet meats & cheeses for sale at the Grand Central Market, NYC|
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