Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara

Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara
Image: Ivi Vacca
1 / 2
Preparation5 min.
Cook10 min.
Тotal15 min.
"We diversify the classic Carbonara spaghetti with this authentic Roman recipe"


  • spaghetti - 12 oz (350 g)
  • bacon - 7 oz (200 g) or salami
  • yolks - 4.
  • pecorino romano - 3.5 oz (100 g)
  • black pepper - to taste (ground grains)
  • salt - 2 large pinches

How to cook

The origin of the recipe is not Italian:

As for the circumstances surrounding the birth of this dish, it is likely that the immediate post-war period gave the decisive impetus to the birth of this recipe for Carbonara.

The combination of the typical American taste of eggs and bacon with pasta seasoned with cheese makes it immediately successful on both sides of the Atlantic.

The hypotheses are different as to whom we owe this invention, but above all, in history, the role of Renato Gualandi prevails and is not denied. This young chef of Bologna descent was hired on September 22, 1944, to prepare lunch for the meeting between the British Eighth Army and the American Fifth Army in the newly liberated Riccione.

He unknowingly creates a dish destined to become famous all over the world. In the US military, the food that is mainly present is fantastic bacon, delicious milk cream, cheese, and egg powder, and black pepper.

The chef puts everything together and serves the generals. Gualandi later became the Allied chef in Rome from September 1944 to April 1945, and this period was sufficient to spread Carbonara's fame in the capital.

The name of the spaghetti recipe with Carbonara is very interesting because it was first uttered in a movie!

But going back to the recipes, the first recipe for Carbonara seems to have been published in 1952 in the United States in a restaurant guidebook for the Chicago area, entitled The Outstanding Guide to What is Cooked in Chicago by Patricia Bronte. In a review of the Armando restaurant, the author reports a fairly accurate recipe and you can't go wrong: this is the Carbonara we all know. The appearance of the first Italian recipe (but not as we know it today) dates back to August 1954. Here the ingredients are spaghetti, egg, bacon, Gruyere, and garlic.

But the final recognition of the national Italian recipe came with the publication in Luigi Carnacina's recipe book La grande Cucina in 1960. For the first time, pork cheeks were introduced, replacing bacon and cream, which would often be present in the recipe until the late 1980s. even in large quantities.

In its first forty years, in addition to cream, other ingredients also find their place in the recipe - such as wine, garlic, onion, parsley, black pepper, and hot red pepper, demonstrating exceptional variability in composition.

In the 90's versions of Carbonara, all of these ingredients will be eliminated, allowing the slow but steady validation of the three classic ingredients that everyone knows today: egg (with a clear specification to be only the yolk), pecorino, and bacon in varying amounts (more or less) and black pepper.

Let's move on to the recipe

Put a saucepan of well-salted water on the stove and wait for it to boil.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into slices just under 1 cm. Heat a large skillet over medium heat while cutting the bacon into cubes. Add the bacon to the hot pan without adding oil and let it brown.

Separate the yolks from the whites (which you will save for other recipes) and with the help of an egg beater beat the yolks for about a minute. Boil the pasta and meanwhile add some of the cooked bacon fat to the yolks and beat them again with a mixer.

Add freshly ground pepper to taste to the mixture of eggs and bacon fat. Beat well.

Then add some of the grated Pecorino cheese to the egg mixture and stir again.

Strain the pasta into a bowl and pour the egg and pecorino on it, stirring constantly. Add the bacon to the pasta.

Take a plate and serve your spaghetti Carbonara in Roman style. Finish with bacon, freshly ground pepper, and a little Pecorino.


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