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Brutto: A (Simple) Florentine cookbook

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by Russell Norman
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Brutto means ugly in Italian, a less-than obvious name for a restaurant, but one which British chef Russell Norman chose because of its secondary implications of unrefined and inelegant, and because the phrase brutto ma buono, ugly but good, evokes family home cooking.

As revealed in this collection of recipes from Norman’s London restaurant Brutto, the chef’s appreciation of the food of Florence is focused on the simple and flavorful rather than the refined and delicate. With careful plating one could possibly render these dishes beautiful, but it really does not seem necessary with the likes of:

  • Coccoli, fried dough balls filled with fresh cheese and prosciutto
  • Pappardelle with rabbit, lemon, and herbs
  • Polenta with cannellini beans, chard, and pancetta
  • Chicken with grapes, olives, and sage
  • Pecorino cheese slices with melted sugar, made tableside with a blowtorch

Despite it being a restaurant book, this is quite accessible for home use, though measurements are in metric, as one might expect for a UK-published work.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout

Published: April 9, 2024

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