Skip to Content

Can Carbonara Be More Inclusive?

a scene from Open Carbonara short film

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for carbonara, the beloved Italian dish consisting of spaghetti, guanciale, eggs, Pecorino and black pepper. First, the Financial Times publishes an interview with Italian food historian Alberto Grandi, who claims that several key Italian dishes, including carbonara, aren’t actually Italian inventions. 

Now, for Carbonara Day, today, April 6, the pasta maker Barilla has released a new short film and an “alternate carbonara recipe” meant to showcase carbonara as a more inclusive dish. 

The nearly 4-½ minute film, “Open Carbonara,” shows a multicultural group of chefs hitting the kitchen to develop versions of the famed dish that will allow those with dietary or religious restrictions to enjoy it. The chefs, Marco Martini, Asma Khan, Giulia Tomelleri, Jasmine Guetta & Manuel Kanah, and Victoire Gouloubi, create variations for halal, kosher, vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free carbonara.

Purists may want to avert their eyes, as will those who consider this a “woke” marketing strategy. But we at Appetito applaud Barilla for sharing the message that Italian food should be adaptable and enjoyable for all. 
Barilla has bigger plans for the message too. Their marketing copy states, “This is only the beginning of a cross cultural and inclusive project: The “Open Recipes” platform… [which] will feature hundreds of pasta recipes suitable for various diets, and will continue to be developed to cater for as many people as we can.”

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Appetito

Sunday Shop: No Bull, Zero Restriction, Lawn Club

Morgan Hines seeks out the best in not only food and drink but style, housewares, and more. Welcome to Appetito’s Sunday Shop!

June 23, 2024

20 Things to Know About Prosecco DOC

National Prosecco Week is coming next week, which makes this a great time to freshen up your knowledge of the popular Italian sparkling wine.

June 19, 2024

Look Inside Massara, the New NYC Restaurant From Stefano Secchi

The acclaimed chef’s follow-up to Rezdôra, Massara focuses on the cuisine of Campania, with fresh pastas, roasted meats, pizzettes, and more.

June 18, 2024

How To Apply for the S. Pellegrino Young Chefs Academy Competition

Applications close this week for the prestigious culinary competition that has become a springboard for launching chef careers.

June 17, 2024
See all posts