Think in taste, appreciate the ordinary

Close this search box.

Many faces of carbonara

featured image

1. Uncertain origins

One thing about pasta carbonara is certain: it contains discord. Not only the origin is far from clear. Though many fanatically rage against aberrations.

The earliest written recipes date mid nineteen fifties. When ingredients became plenty. And profusion was trendy. This would explain the presence of meat, eggs and cheese in one single dish.

Making it an atypical in the Italian culinary landscape which was characterized by thrift or simplicity at best.

uncertainty on the origins of pasta alla carbonara

2. American carbonara

American soldiers eating

Was carbonara invented to feed American soldiers in Italy during WWII? They had bacon and eggs in their K -ration. So it could very well be some Italian chef prepared pasta using them. Would that make it an American recipe? Not really. They just happened to like it very much.

The strive for purity is useless in the kitchen. It makes people unhappy. And unhappy people don’t enjoy food.

3. Eggs and pasta

How many eggs go in pasta carbonara. And whole eggs or yolk only? Again discord on all sides. What really matters is the freshness of the eggs. Especially because they are raw.

Discussing shape of pasta can reach unthinkable dimensions. It seems Italians settled on spaghetti. And therefore will curse those with other choices.

eggs for carbonara

4. Bacon?

what to use? A variety of cured meats

Cured meat is a stumbling block. The main war is fought between three pretenders to the throne. Pancetta, guanciale and bacon. All three have an army. And they take no prisoners. 

Pity on those who add cream. Though some recipes from the nineteen sixties for carbonara mention it. Try to add a ladle of the water pasta boils in. A good stir and you have creaminess Italian way.

5. Carbonara people unite

Why is carbonara so popular? Probably because it is so very tasty. Everybody has a personal variation. And only the name remains the same. There is no good reason telling people what not to do. 

Truth be told, pasta alla carbonara is a rather childish dish. Easy to please, comforting. But with no structure, nor interest. 

crazy carbonara with Viennese sausages

More '5 things' articles

Further more

man sleeping on a bench with a typical Sicilian hat

From dusk till dawn

From dusk till dawn

An arbitrary selection of the finest place to stay overnight
silhouette of a man eating, wearing a typical Sicilian Coppola

Dig in

Dig in

Feeling peckish, hungry or ravenous?
waiter, please