07 January 2008

Nursery food alla Venezia

Tough day? Post-holiday letdown? Feeling a bit bruised or a little blue? I would suggest this comforting dish I created when I found myself with too many grapes: panna cotta con sciroppa dell’uva – "cooked cream with grape syrup."

But you must prepare in advance for a day such as this one…

First, find yourself some tight, near-black fragola grapes. (For Americans, Concords would work.) Rinse them well. Snip off a few pretty bunches and freeze them. Crush the remaining fruit, then strain and simmer the juice until it is reduced to a glossy, deep-magenta syrup. Let it cool and stash it away in the fridge. (You will be tempted to use it for an Italian soda, and it would make a pretty one, but don’t.)

Now make classic, silky panna cotta with real vanilla seeds. When it’s ready, drizzle it with the fragrant syrup. Add a sprinkle of crushed, toasted hazelnuts and a small bunch of the frozen grapes. Eat slowly while someone says nice things to you in a very soft voice. I guarantee the world will look better.

P.S. I have also poured this lovely syrup over my French toast.
Ooh la la! I mean, Che bella!