Pasta alla Carbonara is certainly one of the most famous and loved first courses in Italy. It is a symbol of Italian cuisine throughout world and is probably the favorite pasta of Italians.
A typical dish of the Italian Capital, Carbonara is one of the best first courses in Rome, and there can be no visit to the Eternal City without a stop to taste it.
There are many legends on the birth of “Spaghetti alla Carbonara,” but the true circumstances of its origin seem to be lost to history. The prevailing hypotheses is the story of Italian soldier Renato Gualandi. On September 22, 1944, this young man from Bologna was tasked with preparing a lunch on the occasion of the meeting between the British Eighth Army and the American Fifth Army in the newly liberated Riccione.
Making a virtue of necessity, he unwittingly created a dish destined to become famous all over the world, recounting that, “The Americans had fantastic bacon, delicious milk cream, cheese, and egg yolk powder. I put it all together, I added black pepper and served this pasta to the Generals and Officers for dinner. They were conquered by the pasta!”
Gualandi then became cook for the allied troops in Rome from September 1944 to April 1945 and this was enough time to spread the fame of Carbonara throughout the capital. We don't know if this story is real or not, but we like to think that Carbonara is the result of the great, all-Italian ability of culinary improvisation that created a masterpiece in one of the most difficult moments in its history.
Carbonara, a signature dish of Roman cuisine, is so popular that it is even being celebrated in Italy and around the world with the annual #CarbonaraDay on April 6.
Nothing compares to a delicious pasta meal with a glass of wine, but what wine goes with Carbonara?
Carbonara is a complex dish. The egg yolk and the pasta lend a sweetness, while the bacon brings savory and unctuous flavors and the pecorino cheese and black pepper bring spice, marrying all the flavors together.
With such a complex dish we recommend a wine with good structure and good acidity.
A round, full-bodied Chardonnay will enhance the sweet cream of the Carbonara, while a fruity Soave Classico with citrus notes will soften the richness of the cream.
Sparkling wine such as a dry Prosecco also pairs well, cutting through the rich notes of Carbonara.
But not only white wines pair well with Carbonara. Pinot Noir is a fruity red wine with high levels of acidity that cuts through the egg and cheese in the dish. It also pairs well with the bacon.
So, cheers and Buon Appetito... and don't forget to do “la scarpetta!”