A Refreshing Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is a classic of Italian cuisine, obtained by combining cream, milk and sugar, mixing them with gelatin, and letting it cool.

It is a dessert of Piedmontese origin, whose birth date is made up to the beginning of ‘900. It is currently spread throughout Italy, where it is generally served with strawberries, caramel, or chocolate sauce. Recipes similar to Panna Cotta can be found in Many European countries including France where it is called Blanc manger.

I recently prepared the Panna Cotta with basil to create a more summery version of this dessert.

I tasted it before in a restaurant but I had never done it myself. I wondered how to do so that the pudding will have all the basil aroma and freshness even if at the end there is no basil in it.

I gathered a cup of the freshest basil leaves. I also needed the following ingredients:

500 ml of milk

500 ml of heavy cream

1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

100 gr white sugar

In a saucepan, stir together the milk, the heavy cream. Add the basil leaves shredded by hand so that the flavor and aroma gets into the mixture, and the sugar, and set over medium heat.

To obtain the light green color I squeezed a handful of leaves in a “pestle” like for doing pesto, and then added back to the saucepan.

Do not bring to a full boil, watching carefully remove the saucepan when it is close to a boil but not quite.

Add the gelatin squeezed from the water, stirring until completely dissolved.

Filter the mixture thru a cheese cloth and pour into six individual ramekin dishes.

I used a big mold, but it is impractical, it is better to use small glasses or ramekins.

It is best to let it cool overnight before serving.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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