Inside Stories

Wine & Dine: Carbonara & Sauvignon Blanc

by Ellen Andre

(In this series we look at simple, everyday recipes…easy to prepare, with readily available ingredients.  We will also look at wine to pair with the particular dish.  Yet, as I often say, all that matters is what you like.)

A bit of history on this recipe;  Food blogger and historian Luca Cesari states that carbonara was born in Rome around 1944, just after the liberation of the city, probably because of the bacon that flowed in quantity with the American army.  He adds that the first mention of the dish is in an Italian movie from 1951.

According to Cesari, it is likely that the recipe was brought to the United States by an American serviceman.  This makes carbonara a dish that closely links Italy and the United States, according to Cesari.

The Italian academic Alberto Grandi also said that Carbonara’s first attested recipe is American, citing Cesari, a claim that has been criticized in Italy. According to Alberto Grandi, the dish was created by Americans living in Italy after World War II. The American soldiers initially referred to it as “spaghetti breakfast”. Eggs and bacon were their common snack, and they decided to incorporate pasta into it, thus creating the dish.

Pasta Carbonara
1 lb. spaghetti or any pasta
1 stick butter
1/2 lb. bacon chopped
1/2 lb. prosciutto chopped (or 1 pkg. pre-sliced then chopped)
1 medium white onion sliced thin or chopped
2 cloves garlic smashed/chopped fine
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms cleaned/sliced
1/2 c. petite frozen peas
1/2 c. dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
1 c. heavy cream
2 eggs well beaten
parsley jarred or fresh chopped
salt to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Make pasta according to package directions in salted water.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet and sauté bacon and prosciutto until golden brown.  Add onion and garlic and sauté 5 more minutes.  Add mushrooms and peas, if using, and sauté for 1 more minute.

Stir in wine.  Beat cream and eggs together until well blended.  Stir egg mixture into skillet slowly so egg doesn’t curdle.  Drain pasta and add to sauce with parsley.

Stir over low heat being careful not to boil.  Season with salt to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Wine Pairing:  A favorite wine to pair with creamy pasta dishes is Sauvignon Blanc.

There are so many produced in the US, New Zealand and France.   I like Decoy Sauvignon  Blanc from California.

This crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc draws you in with tantalizing aromas of pineapple, Meyer lemon, green apple and lime zest. On the palate, lovely underlying acidity enlivens the zesty citrus flavors, culminating in a bright and energetic lemon-lime finish.

Priced between $16-$20.

6 responses to “Wine & Dine: Carbonara & Sauvignon Blanc”

  1. Patricia Corbett says:

    There are no where near that many ingredients in a real carbonara! Sorry.

  2. Dot Richards says:

    Sounds delish!

  3. Laura Bisson says:

    Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try the recipe and pair with the Decoy! I enjoy all their varietals.

  4. Ellen Andre says:

    Well, I’m not pretending to be an Italian chef haha but it tastes good.

  5. Ellen Andre says:

    Dot, thank you…quick and easy!

  6. Ellen Andre says:

    Laura, it’s an easy take on a great pasta meal. Any wine you enjoy is fine but Decoy is affordable and available everywhere. Thank you.

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