The carbonara we know today is prepared by simply tossing spaghetti or rigatoni pasta with guanciale (cured pork jowl), egg yolks, and Pecorino Romano cheese.
Despite its simplicity, this dish remains one of Italy's favorites, equally popular all over the world.
Even though carbonara is considered a typical Roman dish today, its origins are quite vague and often disputed.
The name is said to have been derived from the carbonari, woodcutters and charcoal-makers who lived in the Appenine mountains northeast of Rome, and who supposedly cooked their pasta over a hardwood charcoal fire and tossed it with eggs and cheese.
Another popular theory claims that carbonara was invented after the liberation of Rome in 1944, when food shortages were so severe that Allied troops distributed bacon and powdered eggs, which the local population would then mix with water to make pasta sauce.