Carbonara Day is celebrated on April 6th, and invites food and Carbonara lovers alike to celebrate the classic Italian pasta dish made with egg, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale, and freshly ground black pepper. These are the only ingredients and it’s never made with peas, chicken, or cream. And no, “vegan Carbonara” doesn’t exist (it would be called something different at that point). In fact, Carbonara is actually one of the most loved and fought-over pasta dishes. Here are three main theories for the origin of this dish.
The first is the coal miners story. The word carbonara is thought to roughly translate to “coal miner’s style” as some believe that this dish was first made by poor coal miners, or “carbonari” who used inexpensive ingredients like eggs and cheese.
The second theory is that it was the secret dish of a secret society. Back in the early 19th century, the secret revolutionary society known as the Carbonari started in Naples. They would live in hiding to avoid being killed and ate pasta, eggs and guanciale.
Lastly, and perhaps the most known theory, is the story of the American soldier in Rome. When the US army arrived in Rome in 1944, American soldiers started taking their daily rations of eggs and bacon to local restaurants where cooks combined them with pasta to give birth to Pasta alla Carbonara.