Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spinach Pesto and Sausage Strata

I enjoy pesto but don't make or eat it very often.  I saw this recipe called for jarred pesto and knew jarred would be much easier than making my own.  I wasn't sure if the kids had ever tried pesto before.  Let's just say that they're not fans of the stuff!  Please note, there's a "Mommy & Daddy Rating" below, rather than a "Family Rating!" This dish was tasty.  The pesto added a nice flavor with the sausage, bread, and cheeses.  However, this dish does have a decent amount of prep work involved AND 45 minutes of cooking.  Definitely not a quick and easy meal.  Plus, when I have to use the food processor, mixing bowls, and fry much as a fan I am of cooking, I'm not really a fan of doing dishes.  My husband will tell me to "leave the dishes, I'll do them when I get home."  But really, after working all day I'm NOT going to have him wash all of the dishes.  Plus, I'm a clean as you cook type of person.  So while this dish was cooking, the pots and pans got washed.  Needless to say, if you like pesto AND you have some time, definitely give this recipe a try. It was tasty!  I'm sure homemade peso would taste even better!  However, I do not recommend this meal if you are short on time!

Spinach Pesto and Sausage Strata
recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, April 2013

6 ounces fresh spinach (6 cups packed)
1/3cup jarred pesto
Salt and pepper
3 eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/2cup grated parmesan
3/4cup sliced scallions
9 ounces italian sausage, casings removed
1 10 ounce loaf Italian bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2/3 cup ricotta
2 cups grated swiss cheese

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a food processor, puree 2 cups spinach with the pesto; season with salt and pepper.

2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, parmesan cheese, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

3.In a nonstick skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up, until cooked, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and cook the remaining spinach until wilted, about 1 minute; chop.

4.Using half of the ingredients: Arrange bread in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish, spread on pesto, then ricotta; pour in egg mixture and top with spinach, sausage and swiss. Repeat. Let stand for 10 minutes, pressing to soak.

5.Bake the strata until puffed and browned, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mommy & Daddy Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

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