[Pssst! You can see a video of how to make this recipe by clicking here: Italian Strata Video]
Here’s my latest obsession: Strata.
Now, it’s all about the Strata.
This just pure brilliance. Essentially, you throw your leftover cut-up bread into a baking dish along with some goodies (pancetta and cheese, anyone?), then soak it in eggs and milk overnight. Throw it in the oven the next morning and you’re in carb-egg-cheese heaven.
It comes out all bubbly and brown with those wonderful crispy-crunchy edge pieces that the husband and I fight over.
This is so perfect for breakfast or brunch when you have overnight guests, but it also works well for lunch and dinner.
If you’re feeling really crazy you could make a strata in individual muffin tins and pack them to go! Alas, I only thought of that idea just now so I’ll have to settle for cutting myself a big piece and slapping it down on a plate.
I find that this tastes best if you serve it using a hodgepodge of mismatched serving pieces, utensils, and plates.
Okay, not really, but I don’t have any other excuse for the haphazardness of my kitchen.
Just trust me on the strata. Go forth and make it!
To see the video of me making this recipe, click here: Italian Strata Video!
Here’s Your Recipe!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 8 c. cubed Italian bread, from a 1-pound loaf
- 2 c. coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
- 3 c. whole milk
- 10 large eggs
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté pancetta until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pan and let heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and garlic, then sauté for five minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart baking dish. Top with one-third of pancetta, one-third of onion mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, pancetta, onions and cheese.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour evenly over the strata, then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours or up to one day.
- The next day, let it stand at room temperature while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook