A Forkful of Heaven: Panna Cotta at Trattoria Nella

One evening, after the sun had slipped down over the far side of the Arno River in Florence, DP and I would dine at the lovely Trattoria Nella, a restaurant recommended by Rick Steves. As we stood in the doorway reading the menu, we heard happy peals of laughter coming from inside the restaurant. After we’d been seated, I got a closer look at the five women-friends on vacation together. North American. Sun burned. Joyful.

The waitress brought them a dessert that looked like a mound of ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce but we knew it couldn’t be ice cream because it remained unmelted in the August heat. The first forkfuls sent the women into staccato cries of dessert-ecstasy that demanded the attention of the other diners in the trattoria. As one of the women actually picked up the plate and licked it clean, we all laughed aloud.

When it was time for our dessert, I said (with glee), “We’ll have what they’re having.”

When we returned to Barcelona, I found a panna cotta recipe on Over A Tuscan Stove , the food blog of Judy Witts Francini who is also known as Divina Cucina. I have adapted her recipe slightly.

Panna Cotta
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package of gelatin

1. Put the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of cold water, it will soften and swell up.
2. Heat the cream but do not it let boil.
3. Dissolve sugar into the cream.
4. Put the softened gelatin in the hot cream and stir until the gelatin is melted.
5. Put the cream in individual molds and let chill.
6. To serve, hold the mold in hot water, and unmold onto the serving dish.
7. Drizzle hot chocolate sauce over the panna cotta.

For your own forkful of heavenly panna cotta, visit Trattoria Nella in Florence.
Via delle Terme 19/r
Tel: +39 055 218 925

Opening Hours:
Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Dinner: 19.00 – 22.30
Closed: Sundays


  1. There you go with the wondrous desserts again …Next time just FedEx one to me (whatever it may be) …Don't bother to wait for the reaction to the blog photo and description – just send it… 🙂 🙂 :-)CJ

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