Made with eggs, bacon and plenty of black pepper speckles, carbonara is a classic. While it may seem a deceptively simple dish made up of a few core building blocks, it requires real skill to get it right. So get the pros at Jamie's Italian to whip you up some velvety smooth pasta sauce – and find out where this iconic dish came from.
Simple and adaptable
One of the great things about this dish is how easily it can be adapted to suit your tastes. Spaghetti is most commonly used, but many cooks use penne, linguine or bucatini too.
The secret to the trademark creaminess is eggs and cheese – a combination that you just know is going to win every time. Traditionally, it's Pecorino or parmesan cheese that you'll find whipped up with your eggs, and added to still-hot, freshly cooked pasta. Cubes of fried bacon or pancetta are then scattered over along with grindings of black pepper. Some dishes also add cream for extra richness, or extra gooey golden yolks.
The carbonara conception
How and when this dish came about is still subject to speculation, but most believe it was rustled up in 40s Rome sometime after the Allies liberated Italy. Some experts think that, based on the high amount of both bacon and powdered eggs included in rationing, this dish became a staple of the time.
People also believe that carbonara was rustled up as a hearty, protein-packed meal for labourers. This is because the dish gets its name from carbonaro – Italian for charcoal workers. The other side of the Atlantic supports this too, as they originally named their creamy-spaghetti-goodness the 'coal miner's spaghetti'. Anyway, we're grateful to whoever whipped it up.
Italy on order
From a comforting lunch when the skies are grey to fine dining, carbonara is still loved by all of us today. There's just something about that creamy pasta that keeps us coming back for more. And at Jamie's Italian, you'll find it both refined and comforting.
Here they pack it in with crispy chunks of smoked pancetta, sweet butter leeks, a twist of lemon and the classic sauce. It's paired with penne for a different take on the classic – but the hollow tubes catch some of the sauce inside them, making each one a little punch of flavour.