All about traditional Italian panna cotta recipe, a creamy white tower-shaped dessert drizzled with caramel sauce: a delicious milk pudding you can’t miss.

At first sight it may look like any ordinary pudding, but there is much more to it than meets the eye: this creamy white tower-shaped dessert drizzled with caramel sauce is the ultimate milk pudding. We refer to Italian panna cotta recipe of course, one of the most indulgent delights of traditional Italian cuisine.

The traditional Italian panna cotta recipe calls for cream, sugar and gelatine although, in the course of time, the numerous and increasingly lighter versions have rather strayed away from the original concept. Variations can be made to the basic dessert but also to the sauce: the more traditional caramel sauce may be replaced by strawberry, raspberry or melted chocolate, not to mention the more outlandish versions flavoured with aniseed or cinnamon.

The Italian origins of this dessert seem to be concentrated in the region of Piedmont, which has earned it the prestigious seal of approval as a traditional Italian regional food product. Legend would have it that it originally came from the Langhe wine growing district, but similar cream-based desserts also exist in France, England and Greece. Even though traditional tiramisu “takes the cake” in this respect, there is no Italian mid-range restaurant that has not put it on the menu at one time or another: a recipe often interpreted by starred celebrity chefs. The three Michelin starred chef Enrico Crippa, for instance, has turned it into a miniature work of art inspired by Matisse. The candid dessert makes the perfect background for a mosaic with seasonal fruit and vegetable flavoured tessera, such as fresh mint, raspberry, peas, apricot and amaretto. Aurora Mazzucchelli dresses it with nasturtium, peas and strawberries. Maurilio Garola, from the Ciau del Tornavento restaurant located in Alba, has turned it into an ice-cream adorned with petals of white truffle. Pietro Leemann offers us a light all-vegetable interpretation based on yogurt: to please vegans and vegetarians, the gelatine can be replayed by a natural thickener such as agar agar. Not to mention the savoury versions: with parmesan and pear sauce, or based on salmon, saffron, basil and herbs, cauliflower, pumpkin and rosemary, turmeric and mint. The method does not vary and, having eliminated the sugar, all you need to do is add the surprise ingredient suitably blended.

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Fine Dining – 12 marzo 2015