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Carbonara is likely a Roman dish of egg, cheese and some sort of pork.
The word itself comes from the Latin word for “coal.” So, theoretically, a carbonara is any piece of meat cooked over charcoal.
Over time, the dish became pretty firmly entrenched in its use of pancetta or guanciale and usually with a spaghetti or fettuccine.
As for the cheese, well that’s traditionally Pecorino-Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano — or a luscious combination of the two.