Today, Monday 6 April, we are celebrating Carbonara Day! A day dedicated to the most famous and loved pasta in the world.
Carbonara Day 2020 will be a little different as Italians need to stay at home, but it will be possible to share photos on social networks with the hashtag #CarbonaraHomeMade and #CarbonaraDay following the invitation of the pasta makers of the Italian Food Union and International Pasta Organization. On social networks, for 24 hours the most loved and imitated pasta recipe will be offered in infinite versions (only last year the event had reached an audience of 500 million people).
But agreeing on the ingredients for the perfect carbonara is difficult: parmesan or grana padano, mixed with pecorino and, of course, buttered bacon. Oil should be avoided, since the fat is already obtained from the bacon, and as for the size of the pasta, some go for spaghetti, while others prefer short formats such as rigatoni, half sleeves or even paccheri.
Whole egg or yolk? It depends on the portions to be prepared, but a little egg white is always recommended to obtain the typical creaminess of the dish. Absolutely banished garlic and onion and, of course, needless to say, cream is prohibited.
But where did the Carbonara pasta recipe come from? There are many hypotheses, which however have never been verified: some say that they ate during the meetings of the conspirators registered in the coal store; others say that it was invented by a Carbonia chef who worked in Rome; and others that it was the typical lunch of the Apennine charcoal burners, while another hypothesis claims that it owes its name to the rain of pepper that covers the pasta like coal dust.
A somewhat less dubious hypothesis is the one that would appear after the mid-1940s, in 1944, with the American soldiers stationed in Italy: they would combine the love for Italian pasta with the ingredients of the “Ration K” supplied to the troops, which included powdered eggs and bacon. This thesis was supported by Marco Guarnaschelli Gotti, curator of the Great Encyclopedia of Gastronomy.
Even the starred chefs have given a reinterpretation of this recipe loved all over the world, enhancing the products and raw materials of their land.
Also the use of different cooking techniques, such as Roy Caceres, Paolo Parisi or Massimo Sola, which treat the egg at 65 degrees, raw or change the function and structure of some elements, vegetarian variations, such as the vegan one by Simone Salvini or insertion of other ingredients, such as the variations of the Roman place Eggs, where the carbonara of chef Barbara Agosti meets from time to time artichokes, tuna, and bottarga, saffron pistils, courgette flowers, purple potatoes, black truffle.
Even on social networks, the chefs of starred restaurants, which are currently closed due to the Coronavirus emergency, have launched a challenge on the occasion of the #CarbonaraDay.