Carbonara is a pasta dish that looks fancy, but is made with the simplest ingredients. It originated from Rome, Italy sometime during or after World War II. The name carbonara has been attested to both coal workers and the word for bacon, based on its name. Whatever the source, carbonara is delicious!
Carbonara is traditionally made with egg, hard cheese, pepper, and either guanciale or pancetta. The pasta and cheese vary, and there is no specific variant attributed to it, but Pecorino Romano and spaghetti seem to be commonplace.
This variant of carbonara uses sausage instead of the traditional guanciale or pancetta, giving the dish a meatier flavor with larger chunks of meat that add salt and a unique texture. By cooking the sausage in the pan first, it leaves behind a layer of oil which helps to flavor the rest of the meal as it cooks in the pan after it.
The spices that are cooked in the sausage oil provide a delicious, herbal base for the spaghetti to absorb into itself along with the water as it cooks. By leaving the pasta water in the pan as you reduce the eggs and fold them into the pasta, this will help the pasta and egg retain all of the delicious flavors from the spices and sausage that you’ve built up in the pan!
By: Lizzie Kim