Did you know. Spaghetti alla carbonara, a classic of Roman cuisine, was invented by chance during the war.
It is one of the most loved dishes by the Romans (but not only), a timeless dish that always puts everyone in agreement: did you know that it was invented by chance during the Second World War?
Here’s what happened.
As for the circumstances of the birth of this dish, it is plausible that the availability of US military rations in the immediate post-war period provided the decisive impulse for the construction of the recipe.
The combination of the typical American egg & bacon taste with pasta topped with cheese made it an immediate success on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
But to whom do we owe this invention?
There are many hypotheses, but the most important one is the story, never denied, of Renato Gualandi.
This young cook from Bologna was hired on September 22, 1944 to prepare a meal on the occasion of the meeting between the British Eighth Army and the American Fifth Army in the newly liberated Riccione.
Making a virtue out of necessity, he unwittingly created a dish destined to become famous throughout the world: “The Americans had fantastic bacon, delicious cream of milk, cheese and egg yolk powder. I put it all together and served this pasta for dinner to the generals and officers.
At the last minute I decided to add some black pepper which gave off a great flavor. I cooked them quite “bavosetti” and they were conquered by the pasta”.
Later on, Gualandi became a cook for the allied troops in Rome from September ’44 to April ’45 and this period was enough to spread the fame of carbonara in the capital.
Obviously, the story of the carbonara invented in Riccione in 1944 by a cook from Bologna using the rations of the American army, can generate some perplexity in the purists (sometimes authentic Taliban without historical justification) of the Roman tradition, but this does not make the story less truthful or plausible.
Instead, we like to think that it is the result of the great ability, all Italian, of culinary improvisation that has created a masterpiece in one of the most difficult moments of its history.