It is hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the origins of carbonara. The most popular rumor says that the dish came about during World War II, when American GIs were craving bacon and eggs and a clever chef found a way to mix them into pasta. Egg yolk is indeed the key to a good carbonara, because the dish is never made with the addition of cream in Italy. Some newer Rome restaurants riff on the dish, offering seafood or vegetarian versions, but there is nothing like the umami explosion of the classic egg, bacon and cheese.
Where to get it: Trattoria Da Danilo