After touring around the Vatican on our first day in Rome, we got really hungry. From researching, I heard Carbonara was one of the main things to try while in Rome. So about 5 minutes away from the Vatican we chose to eat at La Pancia Felice. They have a few tables outside, so our group of 6 chose to sit there to enjoy the nice weather. The servers at the restaurant were kind and entertaining to watch and chat with. 

I didn’t order Carbonara, because I think 3 of my friends already did, so I settled for the Spinach Farfalle. We also ordered a couple of plates of the Spaghetti Carbonara, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, and some roasted eggplant. 

My dish was actually the favorite of the bunch, the sauce was the nicest, and I guess more familiar to our taste buds. It was a buttery, slightly creamy sauce with bits of spinach, and some red peppers. Not very strong in flavor, but just right. It wasn’t too heavy either. 

Carbonara is made a bit differently in Rome, where it originated. Back in America, we would typically add cream, and onions, but in Rome, it’s just egg, pancetta or guanciale, parmesan/pecorino cheese, and some pepper. The eggs they use give it a pretty bright yellow color. Most of my friends found the “bacon” used to be a bit too salty. It was a bit salty, but I still enjoyed it overall. 

The Bucatini all’ Amatriciana is another traditional Roman pasta with guanciale, pecorino Romano cheese, tomatoes, chili peppers, black pepper and a little wine. I think this was the least favourite. It was slightly spicy, but again the “bacon” was too salty for our taste buds. 

The eggplant was pretty standard. Grilled and soft and topped with a bit of olive oil. 

Honestly, we were a bit underwhelmed by the Spaghetti Carbonara which is what we looked most forward to. It looked like it was properly done, pasta cooked well, but just salty. We were really close to the Vatican, so this place may cater to more tourists than locals. 

La Pancia Felice 
Via di Porta Castello 11/12 
Rome, Italy