The recipe of the Pasta alla Carbonara is and will always be a very well kept and discussed secret, just like the legends that are behind its origins.
Most Italians will tell you that it was invented in Italy during the early years of the Carboneria, 1800-1831 “a secret revolutionary society.”
Others will say; “NO, it was the American GIs who inspired it.”
Theories about who invented carbonara, and when, abounded, but nothing appeared certain.
A more recent theory says:
It was 1944 and Italy was finally liberated by the American GIs. In those months, Chef Renato Gualandi was informed that the Allied decided to celebrate with a banquet: to which Gualandi was put in charge.
There were quite some names attending, among them Harold Mac Millan, at the time in charge of the British forces, stanced in the Mediterranean (who was to become Prime Minister 13 years later) and UK generals Harold Alexander and Sir Oliver Leese.
With such guests, and for such an occasion, Chef Gualandi had to put together something tasty, but only with what was available in town, mostly army rations of dried foods and a little meat.
Chef Gualandi admitted he wanted to create something new, that could bring together Italian and Anglo-Saxon cuisine; he concocted a sauce for spaghetti made of bacon/pancetta, cream, processed cheese and dried egg yolk, topped with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper..
Later the pasta was improved and perfected in Rome where became a symbol of its cuisine.
If few people knew that Renato Gualandi may be behind the invention of the Carbonara even fewer people know that Renato Gualandi at age 18, won his first culinary price in Catania, Sicily, where variation of the same pasta are still popular today.