It’s been a while since I have posted one of my Regional Italian recipes, so I think it’s time to publish one. This is a recipe that is very dear to me, as it is one that we would often make at home when we had some egg whites left over from other recipes. It is a traditional recipe from Lombardy, the region I was born and grew up in, and it originates specifically from the town of Gavirate, near Varese. These cookies are called Brutti ma Buoni, which literally means “Ugly but Good”. As you can see, they don’t look pretty and refined and their shape is somewhat irregular, but they do taste good indeed. Besides, they are part of the so called cucina povera (poor, simple, everyday cooking) as they are made with local and inexpensive produce. They also give new life to leftovers and transform them into something delicious. That’s the kind of cooking I love the most. So, are you ready to learn how to make them? Follow me!
Brutti ma Buoni
Brutti ma Buoni - the recipe for these traditional cookies from the Italian region of Lombardy, made with left over egg whites and hazelnuts.
- 250 gms – 9 oz. hazelnuts
- 180 gms – 6.5 oz. sugar
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. egg whites at room temperature
Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast them in a pre-heated oven at 200°C – 390°F for 7 minutes.
Then put them on a clean tea towel and rub them well to remove as much of the skins as possible. Let them cool down.
Put the roasted hazelnuts in an electric mixer and blend them for a few seconds. They don’t have to become like powder, so make sure you don’t blend them too long.
Beat the egg whites and the sugar until stiff peaks form.
Carefully fold in the ground hazelnuts and then pour this mixture into a pan.
Cook on a low fire for about 15 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring the mixture or it will burn.
Bake in a pre-heated oven on the second shelf from the bottom at 160°C – 320°F for 25-30 minutes, then bake them for a further 5 minutes on the shelf above.
Let them cool down a bit on the tray and then put them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container.
Che buono Manu:)
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I have never heard of brutti ma buoni before. You definitely have inspired me to try out the recipe – I love the taste of hazelnuts so much so I can imagine how good these must have tasted!