Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

One dish that was always very popular in Rome and found enthusiasts even among the ecclesiasts is SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA. Now this is interesting because this is a very poor dish that the “carbonari” (the “coal burners,” literally, but a large group of revolutionaries active in the 1800s went by the same name) used to make at lunchtime. They would bring ingredients from the country, carrying them in their pouches or pockets: eggs, pecorino and of course our beloved guanciale, all mixed up on the spot in a pan with some pasta. This recipe ended up on the cardinals’ plates daily at the Vatican’s osteria! It is a very rich meal; keep in mind that at that time it was created, poor people used to have just one meal a day and it had to sustain them for their hard work. Church people instead ate whenever they liked, so it comes as no surprise that the images of these holy men usually show well-nourished, fat bellies underneath all their godly vestments.