Both of these delicious sauces have strong roots in Italian cuisine but the individual ingredients used in each is what makes them so unique.
The Matriciana recipe originates from Amatrice in the province of Rieti, a small town close to Rome, in the Southern Abruzzo region of Italy. A traditional sauce known as “la gricia”, which is still eaten today, was the mainstay of the poor shepherds that lived in the mountains of Amatrice. The main difference between “Matriciana” and the traditional “la Gricia” sauce is the addition of Casalino tomatoes to the classic recipe which only has three main ingredients: cured pork called “Guanciale” which is derived from the snout of the pork, not the belly (it’s more of a noble fat with a more delicate and scented taste), pecorino of Amatrice, (which is very delicate, not salty, & lightly spicy) and black pepper. The pasta used for Matriciana is mainly bucatini or spaghetti. This delicious recipe is recognized today as both “Mariciana” and “ alla Gricia”.
There are many stories surrounding the origins of “Carbonara”. The recipe is part of a family of dishes with bacon, cheese, and pepper, such as “alla gricia”. The main difference is the addition of eggs. The original Carbonara recipe dates back to a 19th-century Neapolitan creation, while others agree that name probably comes from the Italian word for coal, “Carbone” and was a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. It first appears in Rome after the Allies ousted German forces in 1944 by American soldiers who distributed rations to the starving Italians which included large amounts of bacon and powdered eggs. Italian women used these items with pasta to feed their families and then started to incorporate something familiar and homey for the American soldiers, like bacon, in their breakfast. The dish became popular among American troops stationed in Italy and upon their return home, they popularized spaghetti alla carbonara in North America. The main ingredients of Carbona continues to be fresh eggs, pancetta which is known for its saltiness, pecorino Romano, rigatoni or spaghetti and black pepper.
Carbonara Sauce vs. Matriciana Sauce who wins the battle? Not sure but get the plates to the table pronto and let the senses take charge.