I am sure you all know I am taking one-on-one lessons in Italian every week. We are now using a book called L’italiano per la cucina. It is at the B1 level and focuses on the traditional cucine of Italy.

Today’s lesson was on the traditional recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara. The legend goes that the origin of the dish was from when the American soldiers during WWII were occupying Rome. They had rations provided but to make them more interesting the soldiers gave them to local restaurants and asked they make a pasta using the ingredients. The rations had powdered eggs, bacon and cream. Carbonara was the result. The traditional recipe now does not include cream. [there are other legends about the origin of the dish, but this one is the most accepted]

I got so hungry during the lesson I was nearly drooling. SO…tonight I just HAD to make the recipe. It is super easy. Only four ingredients. Guanciale or pancetta, egg yolks, pecorino cheese and spaghetti or rigatoni. I whipped it up and it was delicious.


6 thoughts on “Carbonara

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hey Carlo, it is very true particularly of Italian food and cuisine povera. Most of the famous Italian dishes have from 3-5 ingredients.

  2. Carlo

    My mother, who was a writer and a journalist, documented her Calabrian mother’s recipes from her and my aunts’ memories. It has always amazed me how much flavor can come from only four or five ingredients.

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Eden and Chuck! I love the provenance of these traditional recipes too. But they are not anyth8ng you can prove! Your soup substitutions sound quite yummy. I am sure bok choy would be similar to our bietole…maybe a little less robust.

  4. Eden and Chuck

    I love the history of the dish. It reminded me of the popular South Korean noodle dish the uses US Army Spam as the protein.
    We enjoyed the cannellini bean soup recipe with a few modification due to regional availability of ingredients. We substituted bok choy as the green and added grilled red snapper. Delicious!

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