What is Italian panna cotta and how to make it

May 2 2023, 17:12 | by Michela Becchi
If you don’t feel like turning on the oven, don’t panic: Italian panna cotta is a delicious and easy dessert that will make anyone happy. Here is the recipe.

It’s one the most famous symbols of the 1980's cuisine, the perfect end to a meal after dinner at the pizzeria: panna cotta is a traditional no-bake dessert in Italy. Delicious and snow white, it can be enjoyed as is, or topped with syrups, icing, fruit or chocolate. There are not many sources about its birth, but it is a traditional Piemontese dessert, according to folk tales born in the early 20th century thanks to a Hungarian lady living in the Langhe. We had to wait until the 1960s before chef Ettore Songia put the recipe on paper for the first time. History and anecdotes aside, panna cotta is a simple amateur-proof dessert: quick and practical, it can be added with different ingredients according to personal taste, served in a large mould sliced to portion, or in many small single servings.

Recipe for panna cotta with strawberry sauce


For the panna cotta

½ l cream

½ glass of whole mil

150 g sugar

12 g gelatin leaves


For the sauce

200 g strawberries

2 tablespoons of sugar

Soak the gelatin leaves in some cold water. In a sauce pan mix together cream, mil, sugar and vanilla, then cook over a low heat. When it start to boil, remove the pan from the heat, squeeze the gelatin to remove extra water and add it to the cream mixture. Mix well until the gelatin melts completely. Pour the mixture into small baing moulds, cover with clingfilm and put them in the fridge for about 5/6 hours. For the sauce, put the strawberries in an electric mixer with the sugar and blend until the mixture becomes smooth. Serve the panna cotta with the sauce on top.

by Michela Becchi

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