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Written by

Russell Norman


02 November 2023


Who’s the author? Russell Norman was an award-winning restaurateur, writer and broadcaster, and founder of the POLPO restaurant group. As well as writing several successful cookbooks – including Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking, Russell contributed regularly to Esquire magazine and in 2021 opened the much-acclaimed Trattoria Brutto.

What’s it about? The food of Florence rests on just a few humble ingredients brought together in the rough-and-ready style of everyday cooking, but ultimately with flavour at its heart. This cookbook – its title a nod to the Italian expression brutto ma buono (ugly but good) – takes us back to the basics of authentic, honest, and simple cooking. Here you will find dishes that are less about presentation than they are about taste and flavour – from comfort food to relaxed dinner party staples.

Russell offers outstanding recipes from his restaurant, Trattoria Brutto, but the book is also a love letter to one of Italy’s most beloved cities (and in particular the bohemian district of Santo Spirito). With captivating stories and gorgeous photographs accompanying fabulous recipes, this is a beautifully bound cookbook for foodies, home cooks, and lovers of Italian cuisine.

Recipes we love: Anchovies with Cold Butter and Sourdough, Penne with Tomato and Vodka, Roasted Squash with Borlotti Beans and Salsa Verde, and Three-Ingredient Meringue Hazelnut Cookies.

Perfect for: Fans of Russell’s previous books, as well as readers of Jamie’s Italy, The Italian Deli Cookbook and Stanley Tucci’s Taste: My Life Through Food. Beautifully packaged, Brutto will make the perfect gift for cooks and foodies.

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