A layered bread and egg casserole dish, usually served at breakfast or brunch. This strata (meaning layers) needs to chill for 2-12 hours, so plan ahead and prepare this dish the night before baking.
3 tbsp olive oil
5 oz. pancetta, thinly sliced then chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 box chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups milk
10 large eggs
Step 1: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a bowl. Add the chopped onion to the pan drippings in the same skillet and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach. Sauté over medium-low heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper, nutmeg and the cooked pancetta.
Step 2: Place half of the bread cubes in a lightly grease 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the bread layer, then top with half of the spinach mixture. Repeat layering.
Step 3: Whisk the milk, eggs, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over the strata. Cover the strata with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (and up to 12 hours).
Step 4: Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, until golden brown and cooked through, for 40-45 minutes. Allow strata to stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.