Food, Wine and other Beverages

Recipe for Panna Cotta: Recreating and Remembering

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This week for Cooking Around the World, a simple recipe for panna cotta to remember a local ristorante in Vogogna, one of our favorite small towns in Italy

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I confess I am often a creature of habit when it comes to food. If I find something I love at a restaurant, I simply have to order it over and over and over again.

Now and then I get adventurous and try new things on the menu, but there are moments when I find a dish so delicious that I can’t talk myself into anything else.

Such was the case at the Vecchio Borgho, a restaurant/bar at the end of a narrow, cobbled street in the village of Vogogna in Italy’s Piedmont.

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It’s set on a lovely spot, across the street from a wonderful old church and next to a rocky stream bed that winds down from the mountain towering behind the village.

I was in Vogogna on the first Travel Belles trip to Italy last fall. It was our first night and we were giddy with happiness at being in such a charming small town in our beloved Italy. We were also ravenous from a long day of travel.

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Margo led us to the Vecchio Borgho – a place she and her daughters had frequented during their stay in Vogogna a few months before. Her rave reviews of the menu had us salivating before we even sat down.

She did not steer us wrong. From the house wine and bread to succulent grilled vegetables and seafood, everything was absolutely delectable. But nothing prepared me for dessert: panna cotta with caramel sauce.

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From the first bite I was undone. I closed my eyes in sheer bliss as the silken panna cotta melted on my tongue, mingling with caramel sauce so intense it was almost bitter. I was in heaven and lingered over every glorious spoonful.

Over the next few days we returned to the Vecchio Borgho as often as our schedule allowed. No matter what I chose for a main course, my meal always ended with the caramel panna cotta. By our second appearance the waitress recited my choice along with me, chuckling at my devotion to this simple dessert.

I have not been able to exactly replicate that marvelous recipe for panna cotta, but this is the closest I’ve come thus far. Believe me, I’m going to keep on trying.

Recipe for Panna Cotta with Caramel Sauce


Vanilla Panna Cotta:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (or make your own)


Add cream, vanilla and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the powdered gelatin and return to stove top over low heat. Use a whisk to dissolve the gelatin. Don’t let it simmer. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (this will remove any undissolved gelatin) then pour into individual ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until set, about 1 hour.

When ready to serve, turn out panna cotta onto dessert plates and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Note: To lighten up Krista’s recipe for panna cotta a bit, substitute half and half for heavy cream.

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For more information about Vogogna, visit their official website

* All photos property of and by Krista Bjorn except for one of Vecchio Borgo sign by Margo Millure

** By popular demand: Here’s the villa rental in Vogogna where we stayed last fall.

About the author

I am a wood-burning artist, goat farmer, writer and photographer of all things food, travel, and lifestyle. Born in Canada, raised in the USA, and shaped by my European roots, I now live on a goat farm in Queensland, Australia with my husband, where I celebrate anything that leads to healing, thriving, and loving. For more visit: Rambling Tart

This article has 35 comments

  1. Briana Palma

    Krista, I totally agree — when I find something delicious in a restaurant, I stick with it. And boy does that panna cotta look good! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Krista

    You’re so welcome, Briana! It was definitely the most luscious panna cotta I’ve EVER tasted. 🙂

  3. Kate Turner

    Yum, I remember this! Happy memories of delicious food in great company 🙂

  4. Katy

    Yummy! I’m so excited to try this recipe out and recreate those divine evenings in Vecchio Borgho, thinking of my Belles 🙂

  5. judith works

    Yum! So much better than the dry tortes favored by some Italians.

  6. Abby

    Panna cotta is my absolutely favorite. I can’t believe the recipe looks so do-able! Stunning photos. I bet that was a fun trip!!

  7. Margo Millure

    awwww, I miss panna cotta (miss you all more, of course). I’ll try this at home – especially since I don’t have to attempt caramel sauce to be legit here in travel belle land.

  8. Cathy

    I love panna cotta Krista. I love your sentence ‘from the first bite I was undone’.

  9. Susan Van Allen

    Love your Falling In Love With An Italian Dessert story–I can relate! Grazie for the gorgeous photos and recipe!

  10. Tuula

    Looks divine Krista – thanks for sharing this with us & what a fantastic setting to dig into this Italian classic!

  11. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    Yum! Such a decadent dessert 🙂

  12. dtravelsround

    Not only does that Panna Cotta look lovely, so do the other photos. I LOVE Italy!!

  13. Camels & Chocolate

    I’m not traditionally a panna cotta fan, but I think I could change my ways for that first photo up there!

  14. Bobbi Lerman


    The pana cotta sound like it’s worth every calorie!
    I’m going to give this recipe a try!


  15. Krista

    The BEST memories, Kate! Loved exploring Italy with you guys. 🙂

  16. Nomadic Samuel

    Oh, anything with caramel sauce, yes please!

  17. Erica


    Looks delicious… and kinda like flan?

  18. Vickei Morgan

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I cannot wait to try the recipe.

  19. Tabby

    I love Panna Cotta! Instead of Caramel sauce, you could try it with some berries sauce to cut the creaminess of the Panna Cotta.

    Thank you for the recipe and I’m off to make some of my own 😀

  20. Margo Millure

    I love berry sauce too! Let us know how it comes out!

  21. Krista

    Awww, thinking of you too, Katy!!! 🙂

  22. Krista

    I agree, Judith. Dry desserts do NOT delight me. 🙂

  23. Krista

    Oooo, I’ve never tried it with berries, Tabby. I will definitely have to do that! 🙂

  24. Krista

    I was surprised with how easy it was too, Abby! 🙂 Always a good surprise. 🙂

  25. Krista

    You absolutely do NOT have to make your own caramel sauce to be legit here, Margo! 🙂 Bring on the delicious store bought!!

  26. Krista

    Oh, thank you, Cathy. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re a fan of it too. 🙂

  27. Krista

    You are so welcome, Susan! I’m delighted you liked the story. 🙂

  28. Krista

    The setting was perfect, Tuula. 🙂 Mountains behind, gorgeous old Italian homes around, beautiful church beside. I loved it. 🙂

  29. Krista

    It sure is, Stephanie! 🙂 Deeeeelicious. 🙂

  30. Krista

    Thank you! I love Italy too – such a beautiful, wonderful place. 🙂

  31. Krista

    I think it’s the caramel sauce that REALLY makes this one. 🙂

  32. Krista

    I hear ya, Samuel!! I LOVE that stuff. 🙂

  33. Krista

    It’s very similar, Erica. A bit lighter, smoother and silkier, but that same creamy loveliness. 🙂

  34. Krista

    Thank you, Vickei! I hope you love it. 🙂

  35. Tabby

    It turns out great! Even better with berries sauce 😀

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