Federico Fellini, one of the most prominent filmmakers of the 20th century, embodied the voices of an entire nation in his statement, quoted above. All  food enthusiasts know that gastronomy comes hand in hand with travel, that Italy means love, history and symphonies of flavors and that Rome would have never been the same without the Coliseum and Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Though there are several stories around, Carbonara’s true origin lies somewhere between its name, derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal) and the mysterious legend of Carbonari (a secret Italian society), being largely accepted as a Roman dish as well as one of the most popular Italian pasta recipes.

Italians know, maybe better than anyone that good food doesn’t have to be complicated as long as are used fresh products, simple culinary techniques, and a lot of passion. The authentic carbonara is both quick and easy to cook, symbolizing this ideal Italian philosophy.

Ingredients (per person):
100g spaghetti (you can also use fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini)
One egg and one extra yolk (per person)
A handful of cubed Italian ham (pancetta or guanciale)
A heaped tablespoon of grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmesan)
Black pepper
Olive oil
Garlic

Recipe:
In order to bring a little bit of Italy in his kitchen, one must keep in mind three important things:
1. Never use cream in carbonara
2. Always boil the pasta al dente
3. Cooking requires passion

carbonara sauce

The basic carbonara recipe goes like this: Get the spaghetti boiling in salted water. Fry the Italian ham in a pan with a dash of olive oil and a bit of garlic. Beat the eggs and the additional yolks in a bowl with a portion of cheese. When the Italian bacon gets a little crispy, remove the garlic, add the drained pasta and the egg mixture. Lower the heat to the minimum and mix. Don’t let the eggs set. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the cheese and serve.

Perfect for both lunch and dinner, Carbonara is definitely the evidence that Italian food is not just one of the tastiest things in the world, but also a fusion of consistency, style, flavors and affordability, all in the same plate.

About mirunacorneanu

Travel & Food writer.