Brunetti's Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro and Donna Leon
© 2002-2017
Mystery Series
Set in Italy


Donna Leon
Andrea Camilleri
Michael Dibdin
Timothy Williams
Magdalen Nabb
Grace Brophy
Massimo Carlotto
Gianrico Carofiglio
Carlo Lucarelli
Timothy Holme
Iain Pears
Edward Sklepowich
Marshall Browne
David Hewson
Simon Buck
Aaron Elkins

Set in Venice
© 2010
US Edition

UK Edition

Roberta Pianaro, born in 1948, has a jewellery workshop and a much used kitchen. Donna Leon calls Roberta the "Risotto Queen" and often gets to enjoy her cooking. Just as well, for numerous dishes from Roberta’s kitchen are served to the Brunettis as well.

Roberta Pianaro

US Edition

Brunetti's Cookbook

Product Description: Among their many pleasures, Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti novels have long been celebrated for their mouth-watering descriptions of food. Multicourse lunches at home with Paola and the children, snacks grabbed at a bar with a glass of wine or two, a quick sandwich during a busy day, or a working lunch at a neighborhood trattoria in the course of an investigation have all delighted Brunetti, as well as Leon’s readers and reviewers. And then there’s the coffee, the pastries, the wine, and the grappa.

In Brunetti’s Cookbook, Donna Leon’s best friend and favorite cook brings to life these fabulous Venetian meals. Eggplant crostini, orrechiette with asparagus, pumpkin ravioli, roasted artichokes, baked branzino, pork ragu with porcini—these are just a few of the over ninety recipes for antipasti, primi, secondi, and dolci. The recipes are joined by excerpts from the novels, four-color illustrations, and six original essays by Donna Leon on food and life in Venice. Charming, insightful, and full of personality, they are the perfect addition to this long awaited book.
(© Atlantic Monthly Press)

Our Review

This cookbook is a work of art!

Our long wait to actually experience the wonderful Venetian food portrayed in Donna Leon’s Brunetti novels is over. This beautiful full-color cookbook has something for everyone.

By the numbers... The focal point of the cookbook are the ninety-one recipes by Donna’s close friend, Roberta Pianaro. These delights cover six food categories, each with an enlightening introduction written by Ms Pianaro. For the avid reader, there are seven original food essays by Donna Leon and about thirty lengthy excerpts highlighting the Venetian food experience from fifteen of the Brunetti novels. The book is illustrated with over forty full color drawings by the famous German illustrator, Tatjana Hauptmann.

To truly experience this marvel, I must now get into the kitchen, try the recipes and share these Venetian morsels with my family and friends.
(by Carlo Vennarucci,

UK Edition

A Taste of Venice:
At Table with Brunetti

Product Description: Food plays an important role in Donna Leon's bestselling "Commissario Brunetti" novels. In "A Taste of Venice", Roberta Pianaro invites readers into the Brunettis' kitchen to learn how to prepare for themselves the delicious meals Paola Brunetti prepares for her family. We are given the secrets to Brunetti's favourite dish (penne rigate), Paola's famous apple cake, a lasagne recipe from Brunetti's mother, Donna Leon's favourite meal (risotto di zucca), and a host of other sumptuous and authentic Italian classics. Beautifully illustrated with vignettes by Tatjana Hauptmann, and with culinary stories by Donna Leon and extracts from the novels, this is so much more than a cooking guide - it is a wonderful journey, full of ideas for recreating the delights of Venetian cuisine in your own home. So whether you want to eat spaghetti with clams, aubergine and prosciutto roulades or baked omelette with courgettes, you'll find all you need here to create the perfect Venetian feast.
(© William Heinemann)
Donna Leon's Comments

There will be and there should be a cookbook. It’s coming out in Germany in November. Grove Atlantic is going to issue it in May 2010. The recipes will be written in Italian by my friend, Biba (Roberta Pianaro)-the daughter of Bianca who is the best cook I know. My take on the Italian food mania is on the part of someone who had two Irish grandmothers and a German and a Spanish grandfather. So Italian food to me was a mystery when I went there. I can cook now but only because Biba has been very patient with me. So my uptake gives that sort of cockemania view on Italian food, but the recipes are legit. We ate our way through these recipes last year-believe they are legit..
(Donna Leon - April 2009, San Francisco Event)