Note Guanciale is cured pork cheek, available from Italian delicatessens and butchers. Pancetta is the nearest substitute.
Carbonara is a traditional pasta dish from Rome. Some sources date it as far back as ancient Rome, while others say it was a post-WWII invention. There is as much controversy over how the name came about. 'Carbone' is Italian for coal, and some say this dish is named for the charcoal makers or coal miners with whom it was popular. Whatever its origin, authentic carbonara includes eggs, black pepper, guanciale (pork cheek) and parmesan or Pecorino. It should be eaten as soon as it's mixed, while it's still hot.