Carbonara alla Francesco

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

– Sophia Loren

La carbonara is one of the most discussed dishes here in Italy. The never-ending search for the true origin of traditional italian recipes, so typical of the italian culture,  seems to manifest all its strength when it comes to the topic of this iconic dish. In fact, this can be so complex that a lot of italians will stop returning to a restaurant solely if they believe their carbonara is not respecting the unbreakable rules behind its preparation (like using cream in the egg sauce…eew).

It is said that the carbonara was invented right after the World War II when the Americans came to Italy, bringing with them recipes like the classic egg and bacon breakfast. Not long after that, an Italian came with the delicious idea of combining the best of both worlds. In other words…pasta+egg+bacon = heaven. Whether this story is true or not, we will never know! But you can’t deny this dish is a MUST for your next italian dinner.

Personally, I’ve never met an Italian who doesn’t know how to make carbonara; everybody knows how to do it and they all claim to do it the right way or alla romana. But the truth is they all make a different and mildly personalised carbonara and this is my version!


  • 240g Spaghetti (the thicker the better in my opinion)
  • 100g Guanciale (pork cheek)
  • 3 eggs
  • 70g Parmiggiano Reggiano 
  • 20g Pecorino Romano
  • Black pepper 
  • Salt 


  1. Take a large saucepan and fill it with water. Add salt and bring it to a boil over a medium/high heat. You can now add the pasta. For the cooking time consider always about 2 minutes less than the cooking time written on the box. 
  2. Cut the guanciale in small stripes or cubes and put them to cook on a wok (or a large frying pan) over medium heat. Cook them until they will brown a bit, making them crunchy. 
  3. Meanwhile the pasta is cooking, start preparing the egg sauce. Put two eggs and one extra egg yolk on a bowl (consider always one egg for person plus one egg yolk each two persons) and add 60g of Parmiggiano Reggiano and 20g of Pecorino Romano (the remaining Parmiggiano will be used at the end to thicken the sauce when combined with the pasta). Add black pepper and mix the ingredients with a fork.
  4. When the pasta is done put it on the pan where you cooked the guanciale . Make sure to save some water from the saucepan where the pasta was cooked (we will need it to cook the egg sauce and make the pasta creamier).
  5. Over a low heat start mixing the pasta and the meat. Slowly add the egg sauce that you prepared before while you are mixing the pasta. Keep mixing without stopping and add the water of the pasta to make the sauce creamy and to not overcook the egg inside the sauce. Attenzione! If you add too much water you will have to balance it with some extra Parmiggiano or let it cook over medium heat for some seconds keep mixing it. The entire procedure of mixing should last about 2 or 3 minutes.

Your pasta is ready! Enjoy with some black pepper and all the Parmiggiano your soul is craving 😉

Chipotle pork Gyoza & teriyaki glaze

And her dumplings were so light they would float in the air and you’d have to catch ’em to eat ’em.

– Fannie Flag

Making gyoza is definitely not fast, but seeing them all fluffy and ready on your table is a wonderful sensation! That’s why after having a crave attack for this classic dish we decided to make them on a Sunday morning. This dish in particular is a great weekend recipe to try since one has more spare time and you can freeze these beauties for up to two months with no problems.

This classic japanese dish has many variations and all equally as delicious. However after a quick search on google for base recipes for Gyoza dough we realized that the public used different words for it and sometimes they would even call them dumplings. So we asked ourselves, what is the difference between gyoza and dumplings?

Well it’s pretty simple indeed. Gyozas are the Japanese version of the big family of dumplings. To be precise, they’re the Japanese interpretation of the Chinese jiaozi. There are a lot of types of dumplings in Asia, in fact dumpling is just an umbrella term for a vast world of delicious filling wrapped with dough that you can find all over asia (being myself an italian I can say that tortellini is basically a dumpling). This is the case of gyoza, the Japanese for jiaozi, a type of chinese dumpling. A similar version of the jiaozi exists also in Korea, they’re called Mandu.

Even though the filling and the preparation methods between jiaozi and gyoza differ, in terms of ingredients they share a lot in common. But you can usually taste more garlic in the Japanese Gyoza’s fill and a thinner dough!

In our version, we decided to explore the world of gyoza for the first time by adding some slight mexican twist that we can assure you it will impress all your co-workers when you re-heat them in the office the next day (we test it! works wonders!)


for the filling

  • 1/8 Chinese cabbage (or any cabagge)
  • 500g minced pork
  • about a tsp of ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxin wine (or red wine da cucina)
  • 1/4 cup of garlic chives cut into small pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of chipotle sauce

for the dough

  • 3 cups of plain flourn plus some extra for dusting
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of boiling water

for the sauce

  • chipotle sauce
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or/and lemmon juice)


  1. For the dumpling dough, place the flour in a bowl and add the hot water. Knead it until the dough is smooth (if you have a stand mixer it will take approximately 10 minutes, but the process can be made also by hand, with some more patience). Remove from the bowl and wrap it in a plastic film with some flour. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To start the filling cook the cabbage with some water in large pan for about 5 minutes until tender. After the cabbage is ready refresh it with cold water. Put them in another bowl and use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid from the cabbage as possible. Finely chop the cabbage.
  3. In a food processor or a stand mixer combine pork, ginger, garlic, salt, Shaoxing wine, sugar, pepper and the chopped cabbage until all the ingredients are combined. Refrigerate the filling for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the dough out and cut it in half. Roll each half into a cylinder not more than 2-3 cm of diameter. Cut the cylinder into 1 cm pieces and roll each one into a circle shape. You can also use any circular cutter to help you obtain a perfect shape for your dumpling skins, this will be faster. Add about 2 tsp of filling to the centre of the skin and fold the dumpling adding some water in the corners to glue each part as you close it (there is no right way to fold a dumpling so be creative if you want!). Also, if you want to freeze them now its the time to place them with some flour inside a glass or plastic tupper inside your freezer.
  5. Bring to a boil some water in a pan (you can alternatively use broth) and put the dumplings in the boiling water. When the dumplings float to the surface, cook for a further 1 minute and then remove (similarly to the gnocchi). Once the gyoza are done let them rest in a plate being careful not to put them on top of each other while they are hot since they can stick.
  6. For the teriyaki sauce, place the soy sauce, vinegar and the sugar in a small saucepan and let it reduce over medium heat. Once the mixture reduces and looks glossy let it rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Take a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat and add a little bit of oil. Place the dumplings and add the teriyaki sauce made before. When you see a brown crust is forming on top of the dumplings, means they are good to go. Serve them with the chipotle sauce on top!