Italians generally do not eat heavy breakfasts, so this is probably not a recipe you would find in Italy. On our recent trip to Marche however, we were surprised to see many savory egg pastries, and baked egg dishes on the breakfast buffet each morning. This was apparently for the benefit of the hotel’s guests, most who were from other European countries. This dish is one I often make when we have company as it is actually best if prepared the night before, and then baked just before serving. You could substitute bacon for the sausage, or even leave the meat out altogether if you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 3 Sausage Links, Casings Removed
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
- 2 Cups Sauteed Spinach, Drained And Finely Chopped
- 4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Oil Packed)
- 8 Cups 1 Inch Cubes Italian Bread
- 6 Ounces Chopped Fontina Cheese
- 3 Cups Whole Milk
- 10 Large Eggs
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 Ounces Goat Cheese
- In a heavy frying pan, cook the sausage meat in the olive oil until browned, using a spoon to break it up as it cooks.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft and translucent, then add the spinach and cook another 3 or 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Butter a casserole dish large enough to hold all of the bread.
- In a large bowl mix together the bread, sausage mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, fontina cheese, and season everything with salt and pepper.
- Place the bread mixture into your casserole dish and press down lightly.
- Whisk together the milk and eggs and pour over the bread.
- Crumble the goat cheese on top of everything and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil.
- Refrigerate at least 8 hours.
- Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and bake the casserole covered for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.