Carbonara is a favourite of mine at Italian Restaurants. It was in Melbourne on an Autumn night that a friend shared with me the history of this dish. Immediately the flavours made sense to me. The flavours of bacon, egg and mushroom mirror a simple bacon and egg breakfast.
My friends and I are in conversation about history on Melbourne’s Victoria Street. We decide on Italian for dinner and I share with them the dish that I will surely order. Then a friend continues wrapt in history, that it was in Italy at the end of World War II, that a surplus of bacon and eggs (basically, breakfast supplies) from American troops were available to Italians. Being Italy, there was also a surplus of pasta. The dish is a simple culmination of this. We continue on to our chosen restaurant where I promptly order my delicious Carbonara.
Back at home, I have made Carbonara at home a few times. Pancetta should really be used instead of bacon, as that is the authentic recipe. The addition of mushroom is a variation. It really is quite simple, frying the pancetta in oil on a pan, with some garlic, then scooping all the hot pasta in to the pan, turning off the heat, and adding whisked egg and parmesan and tossing it all madly - the picture below captures the tossing process! The egg cooks because the pasta and the pan are still hot.