The origins of the now iconic Carbonara are highly contentious. Whilst there are those who advocate the theory that it originated as a hearty meal for coal miners, others would say it was a dish cooked by woodcutters over a hardwood charcoal fire. What therefore seems apparent is the connection with coal, something evoked by the very name itself. Alla carbonara literally means ‘coal worker’s style’. Visually, the abundant use of coarsely ground black pepper — now an integral component of the dish’s very identity — is even said to resemble coal flakes. An even more fanciful tale suggests that food shortages after the liberation of Rome in 1944 (occupied then by German forces) were so severe that Allied troops distributed military rations consisting of powdered egg and bacon, which locals used to season easily-stored dried pasta.
Soon thereafter, it appeared on American menus as GIs returned home from Italy and popularised it. Our Italo-American interpretation sees the addition of an American favourite; good ole’rootin-tootin streaky bacon. Characteristic of the American ‘diner’ experience, and distinct for its streaky mix of fat and meat, this moist, crispy version acts as a wonderful textural contrast to the smooth, silky pasta. As is only appropriate, the bacon is paired with another wonderful diner partner: egg yolk. The egg yolk within our sauce not only gives the pasta a lovely, golden hue, it creates a rich, gloriously creamy carbonara. And that’s exactly where the fettuccine comes in. This thicker and chewier variation of spaghetti allows for the luxuriant sauce to really coat the pasta inside and out, down to the very last strand. Comfort food at its most indulgent, and exactly how it should be!
Allergens in bold and underlined
Fettucine: Wheat Flour, Egg, Durum Wheat Flour, Salt
Carbonara Sauce: Cream (Milk), Bacon (25%), Parmigiano Reggiano (Milk, Salt, Rennet), Egg Yolk (18%), Water, Black Pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano: Milk, Salt, Rennet