Best Panna Cotta

Antica Trattoria

Panna cotta is one of the simplest and most transcendent of desserts. Although its name means "cooked cream" in Italian, this rich, feathery union of sugar, vanilla, gelatin, and (lots of) cream is barely simmered, and only for a couple of minutes. Its flavor is purely, wonderfully lacteal -- the dessert originated in the dairy lands of the Piedmont -- and when properly prepared its texture is smooth as satin. At Antica, a simply furnished trattoria dedicated to the earthy, lusty flavors of the old country, the panna cotta is as silky as the best we've ever experienced, but it also boasts a tangy, puckery pizazz that balances beautifully against the sugar and vanilla. Beware: You'll never go back to crème brûlée again.

 
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