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Italian Apricot-Pancetta Strata

For me, the combination of sweet and savory along with easy preparation make this Italian-inspired strata a winning dish for home cooks everywhere! It can be served for breakfast, brunch, or as a late afternoon meal.—Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1-1/3 cups finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups cubed multigrain bread
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, optional
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Directions

  • In large skillet, cook pancetta until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter to drippings; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl.
  • Heat remaining butter in pan. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in spinach; cook 30-45 seconds or until wilted.
  • Add bread cubes, mushroom mixture, pancetta and almonds if desired to onion; toss to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper until blended. Beat in mascarpone cheese just until blended; pour over bread. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Asiago cheese; spoon preserves over top. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Remove strata from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with basil. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 440 calories, 30g fat (15g saturated fat), 165mg cholesterol, 514mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 3g fiber), 15g protein.

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