Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spinach and Pancetta Strata - Pink Saturday

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's time for the April challenge at Recipes to Rival. This month's challenge, chosen by Temperama of High on the Hog, was a Giada De Laurentis recipe for a Spinach and Pancetta Strata. It's a wonderful recipe for this time of year. It can be assembled the night before serving and that makes it a natural for for a Mother's Day brunch. I cut all the ingredients in half, but made no other changes to the recipe we were asked to prepare. Those of you who have large families to entertain will appreciate the ease with which this can be assembled. The strata is simple to make and it uses readily available ingredients. It is also delicious. One of the nice things about Giada's recipes is their consistency. They are never great but they are always good and visually appealing. I hope you'll try this. You won't be disappointed. Here's the recipe.

Spinach and Pancetta Strata
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Giada De Laurentis from Everyday Italian episode: My Family Favorites

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


1) Heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a bowl. Add onion to pan drippings in same skillet and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and garlic. Saute over medium-low heat until garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, nutmeg, and cooked pancetta.
2) Place half of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle half of cheese over the bread, then top with half of spinach mixture. Repeat layering.
3) Whisk milk, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5) Bake strata uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Frittata with Spring Herbs and Leeks - One Perfect Bite
Smoked Salmon Frittata - One Perfect Bite
Individual Baked Omelets - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:
Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.


3 hungry tummies said...

As usual beautiful photos! This is great for our chilly nights too! Have a good weekend Mary!

MaryMoh said...

I love eggs very much. This is such a lovely combination...beautiful colour and looks very delicious. I can even eat that just for lunch. Have a lovely weekend.

Regina said...

Happy Pink Saturday Mary. Love to try this one. Looks very healthy.
Thank you for sharing.
Enjoy the weekend.

Diane said...

I can eat spinach all day and everyday I just love it. This sounds like a good variation and I usually have a good supply in the garden. Just wait until I have those rabbits fenced off! Diane

bj said...

We love spinach just about any way it's fixed and this sounds delicious, Mary. Your photos are beautiful.
Have a wonderful weekend..
xo bj

Martha said...

All of Gaida's recipes that I've tried have been good -- and they are usually fairly easy as well. This does look like a good dish for a Mother's Day Brunch!

Jeannie said...

I don't really eat much spinach but I do love eggs, so yes, I would eat this dish with relish! It looks so good! Have a nice weekend Mary...It's very hot here!

Angie's Recipes said...

I love it! Looks so great for a weekend dinner!

Deb in Hawaii said... have me craving strata now--my favorite is usually turkey sausage but this one looks mighty good. Love the pancetta! ;-)

Carol at Serendipity said...

Sounds wonderful. I love dishes that can be prepared ahead.

Happy Pink Saturday.


Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, you hit the nail on the head about Giada. I love stratas for their ease and actually have to make one for a teacher breakfast this week Thank you
xoxo Pattie

Jen_from_NJ said...

Oh yes, this will be perfect for Mother's Day! I love that it can be assembled the night before. Your pictures are lovely!

Big Dude said...

That looks delicious Mary

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Great looking strata Mary. I love to make these when I'm having overnight guests.

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Mary... another winner. You can look forward to this on my blog soon. Love the salty sausage in the egg dish

My Little Space said...

This sounds like a good recipe for the challenge! I love cooking spinach in this way cause not many of them like it raw. And I love all the ingredients you put in there too. Looks so tempting!
You have a great weekend too!
Best wishes,

Federica Simoni said...

ciao!!! una ricetta ottima!! bravissima come sempre!! ciao!

Cathy said...

This is a wonderful brunch dish - perfect for Mother's Day. And it can be prepared ahead of time. Love that.

PeggyR said...

Oh we love spinach here, so this will be a must try. Didn't know you were a part of Pink Saturday!

Cherine said...

Fantastic! this looks mouthwatering!!!

Jacalyn @ said...

Another yummy one! Happy PS!


kanishk said...

This is such a lovely combination...beautiful colour and looks very delicious. I can even eat that just for lunch. Have a lovely weekend.
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Kerstin said...

Mmm, this looks so perfect for a Mother's Day brunch!

Joanne said...

Giada's recipes are always reliable, which is probably what is so great about them. I've never made a strata before, but seeing as how it falls into the bread pudding family, I am definitely going to have to! Love the spinach and pancetta combo.

Ana Powell said...

As usual awesome recipe and beautiful photos x

Carla and Michael said...

This is a perfect brunch recipe for Mother's Day. Lovely recipe. I have never made a strata or a fritata, so I think I will have to try my hand at this one.

I do have to disagree with you and some of your commenters. I love Giada, and she does have some pretty fantastic recipes out there. No they are not all outstanding, you just have to pick and choose. For instance she has a recipe on FN for: Grilled Meats and Vegetables over Saffron Orzo" which I have made on more than one occasion that is absolutely delicious. Also her "Artichoke Gratinata" which received rave reviews from Kim at Stirring the Pot. Sorry, but I just adore her and I love Italian food.

Ingrid de Villiers said...

Mary, this looks delicious....I will definitely make it. I need more recipes like this one....!

Char said...


Ann said...

Asusual.. this looks delish

Amisha said...

Hi Mary,
I saw one of your pictures in the Artful Blogging magazine! Congratulations!!!


Christine said...

This looks like a crowd pleaser for sure. My backyard chickens would make that Strata very, very orange! :)

CC said...

As always Mary, the background and the pictures of the recipe are just wonderful... Happy Pinks and have a most wonderful weekend.

tasteofbeirut said...


This is a great recipe for a brunch! Like you say it is also easy to assemble and prepare ahead of time: a lot of good qualities in one dish!

Sushma Mallya said...

Beautiful clicks, looks yummy..

turmericnspice said...

This is our first time have a WONDERFUL blog and your love for food shows!! Happing cooking !!

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Mary.

This sounds like it would be perfect for a brunch I am planning with my cousins. And, it definitely sounds easy.

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