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Carbonara, Pasta Cacio e Uova, have one thing in common: a sauce of whisked fresh eggs and grated cheese. It may sound gross but it is delicious, and Carbonara is the queen of pastas in Rome.

Most important, it is the easiest pasta sauce to make after Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Here is a simple recipe for four people. Bring salted water to boil in a pot, throw in one pound of spaghetti. While they are cooking (ca 9 minutes), make the sauce. Slowly cook tiny cubes of guanciale (or pancetta or bacon) in olive oil. When they are a bit crunchy, they are done, don't burn them. Meanwhile, whisk 3 eggs with 1 cup of grated parmigiano (or pecorino), salt and pepper. That’s it. When the spaghetti are cooked, drain them, leave half a cup of cooking water in the pot, mix all the ingredients without letting the egg-sauce cook, serve.

So easy that the legend tells us it was invented by charcoal-burners (carbonai) who were forced to work long hours in coal mines without the possibility of eating a decent meal. They would make it in the morning and bring it to work. In parts of the United States it is called "coal miner's spaghetti". If you were too poor to afford bacon, the recipe became Cacio e Uova. If you couldn’t afford eggs, Cacio e Pepe.  



Author: Mattes Boch (Mboch on English Wikipedia)