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Pretty, simple, and luscious, this Italian panna cotta, garnished with a red wine strawberry sauce, makes a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for your sweetie.
Guess what, friends?
IT’S VACATION TIME!!!
That’s right! As you read this, I’m either somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, waking up at Heathrow airport, or bumbling my way to our hotel in London, England, the first stop on me and Mr. Crumby’s European Belated Honeymoon Adventure.
O.M.G. Excuse me while I do a little happy dance. Or a Broadway production number.
In honor of this momentous occasion in our lives, I’m sharing this simple and delicious Italian Red Wine Berry Panna Cotta recipe with you, so you can share a little bit of our trip with us!
You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to take this trip, guys.
I was bitten by the travel bug a looooong time ago, but due to events in my life, and circumstances beyond my control, I’ve never been able to go on even a fraction of the adventures and trips I wanted to.
When I was in eighth grade, I was offered a free plane ticket and lodging to visit a friend’s home in Finland with her for two weeks over summer vacation. I was beyond excited; a new culture, weird new food, a country I’d never been to, the longest plane ride ever. I was all set to accept, and then found out some news that made me stay. The dumbest possible news, I decided far too long after.
There was a movie premiering during the time we’d be gone, and it was one I could not miss, because I was so very much in to the television show it was based on. The movie? The X-Files: Fight the Future.
Cue the eyerolling. Yeah, once a dork, always a dork. Live and learn.
Believe me when I say I’ll never again sacrifice a trip to somewhere new if I can help it. In my thirty (almost thirty-one!) years on this planet, I’ve only left the country twice. Both times were on a cruise, and the most exotic place I went was Honduras.
This trip will be marking off plenty of my bucket list. Transatlantic flight, check. Visiting numerous famous cities and historical sites on the “Do Before You Die” list, check. Eat where the locals eat, not the overpriced tourist traps, check. Kiss my husband on top of the Eiffel Tower, check.
But also know that I’m even more excited about the authentic food and wine in my future!
From London to Paris to Venice to Florence to Rome in 12 days. I can’t even believe that we really booked it! Mr. Crumby and I have been talking about Crossing the Pond since we were in the planning stages of our wedding.
Our amazing wedding that cost us a good amount more than we had budgeted (thanks to my desire to make my fairytale come true, his need to invite a large portion of his large family, and the last minute videographer that was worth. every. penny.) It was absolutely worth postponing our honeymoon for.
But now is the time!
While we’re away, there’s no need to worry about no new recipes, because I’ve asked five of my favorite blogging friends to guest post in my stead! Over the next two weeks, you’ll meet Amber from Slim Pickin’s Kitchen, Madison from The Wetherills Say I Do, Erin from The PickleBee, Erin from The Speckled Palate, and Jenna from A Savory Feast.
They’ve all gone above and beyond and stepped up to the plate with European-inspired dishes to share with you, so be sure to tune in on my regular posting days (Monday-Wednesday-Friday), to follow along on our Honeymoon Adventure with them. Talk to them, thank them, let them know you love their work by following them on Twitter and Facebook, subscribe to their blogs. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, these women are fantastic and I’m so happy to be able to call them friends!
That all begins this Friday. In the meantime, let’s drool together over the amazingness that is this Red Wine Berry Panna Cotta.
This was my first panna cotta, and despite looking a tad rough (I had a bit of a hard time getting it out of the rice bowls I used to firm it in), it was one of the smoothest, best desserts I’ve ever had. So delicious in it’s simplicity; the vanilla cream, reduced Cabernet, and marinated strawberries were like heaven on a spoon.
I could easily eat this stuff for breakfast. To hell with nutritional value.
I’m really looking forward to doing just that next week, when we arrive in Italy! Where do I go to get panna cotta before lunch?!
- Vanilla Panna Cotta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1/2 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon cold water
- Red Wine Sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine (I used Cabernet)
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 6 medium or large strawberries
- Lightly oil two ramekins or small coffee cups with a neutral-tasting oil.
- In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream and sugar. When sugar is dissolved, add vanilla. Remove from heat.
- Add cold water to a small bowl, then sprinkle gelatin over the top; let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Once gelatin has started to set, pour the still warm panna cotta in and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
- Divide panna cotta between cups, then chill for 2-4 hours until set.
- When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each cup and unmold each on to a serving plate.
- In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil over medium heat. When bubbles start to thicken, reduce to medium-low and simmer until sauce reduces by half.
- Quarter four of the strawberries, reserving the other two for garnish, and place them in a small bowl. Pour reduced wine sauce over berries and allow to cool to room temperature.
- When ready to serve, spoon berries and red wine sauce over panna cotta, and garnish with other two strawberries.
Where would your dream vacation take you?