While this recipe could easily be prepared in any Italian coastal town, it is the Italian Riviera that comes to mind whenever I prepare it. Breathtaking Ligurian towns like Portofino, Santa Margherita, Rapallo, and Genoa have magical landscapes that are almost as sumptuous as the local cuisine. The region of Liguria is noted for a very fragrant variety of basil (Genoa, after all, is the birthplace of pesto), as well as wonderful produce and seafood.
If you think Italian food is off-limits for people with diabetes, think again. My motivation for writing this book was to change the way Italian cuisine is viewed abroad and to demonstrate ways in which traditional Italian food can be part of a diabetes-friendly eating plan. While thoughts of the bel paese (“beautiful country”) generally conjure up the image of platters of carbohydrate-rich pastas and fat-laden sauces, authentic Italian cuisine is both healthful and delicious.
Panna cotta, Italian for “cooked cream,” is a specialty of northern Italy’s Piedmont region—an area known for its superior dairy products. Panna cotta, or some version of it, has long been popular throughout most of Europe and in other countries along the Mediterranean.