Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale

This is my new favorite recipe. Perfect for the summer. Everybody has been telling me how easy it is to make panna cotta – I finally tried and it is TRUE! It is impossible to fail. It is extremely easy and it looks very elegant. AND it can be made up to three days in advance, which I love, since I want to do as few things as possible when I have friends over for dinner.

This recipe serves 6 people and it is my adaptation of a recipe by David Lebovitz, who adapted a recipe by Judy Witts Francini. Cooking is a long series of adaptations.


  • Heavy cream, 4 cups
  • Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Powdered gelatin, 2 packets
  • Cold water, 6 tablespoons
  • Strawberries, as many as you want
  • Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale from Modena, 2 tablespoons


1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
4. Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into wine goblets, or cups or any container you wish to use.
5. Cut the strawberries in quarters.
6. At dessert time, take the containers out the refrigerator, add the strawberries on top of the Panna Cotta and serve your guests.
7. At the table, in front of your guests, take your precious bottle of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and add a few drops on top of each portion, reserving a few extra drops for your favorite guest.

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  1. My comment is not on the panna cotta, but rather on the fact that just a few days ago your site told me it could not find my name….then it continued to send me notices, even though my name did not exist…..even after ten years or more of my being an occasional customer….

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Dear Giulio Cesare, thank you for your comment, we do understand your frustration. Please be aware that the “notices” you receive from us come from a different system than the registration system on our new website. Frances will call you to help you set up your new account information on our new website as soon as she can. Grazie Mille!

      1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

        We are so happy that we were able to chat with you and help you pick-out some of Italy’s Best Food, Giulio Cesare! It was a pleasure speaking with you. Grazie!

  2. …some extra drops for your favorite guest… and some extra for yourself!!!!! ;-)!

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Of course Mariangela! 🙂

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