Spinach and Pancetta Strata

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 (10-ounce) box chopped frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

8 cups cubed Italian bread, from a 1-pound loaf

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

3 cups whole milk

10 large eggs

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a bowl. Add the onion to the pan drippings in the same skillet and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and garlic. Saute over medium-low heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, nutmeg, and the cooked pancetta.
  2. Place half of the bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bread, then top with half of the spinach mixture. Repeat layering.
  3. Whisk the milk, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over the strata. Chill the strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Bake strata uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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