Carbonara is a simple, traditional Italian dish. The origin of the name is unknown. Carbonaro means charcoal burner in Italian, and some say the dish is so called because of the black flecks of pepper liberally used in the recipe. Others say its because the dish was served to coal miners who needed a cheap and substantial meal. In some parts of the U.S. it is called "coal miner's spaghetti".
Traditionally it calls for guanciale, an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig's cheeks. I substitute bacon. I've also added some chicken, peas, onions and dried tomatoes. Because I don't serve multiple courses with my meals, like they do in Italy, I like the main dish to be a complete meal with protein, vegetables and carbs. A simple green salad, lightly dressed, is all you need to accompany this dish. Oh, and maybe some garlic bread.Read More