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Fork pulling a cheesy bite of egg casserole on a white plate near a potted succulent plant.
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Overnight Italian Breakfast Egg Bake

Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10

Equipment

  • 9x13" baking pan I use a glass one but metal works too.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • 4 oz. pancetta diced into ½” pieces, divided (I buy it at Trader Joe's diced)
  • ½ lb. ground Italian or breakfast sausage bulk or removed from casings
  • 9 eggs divided
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper divided
  • 8 oz. whole milk Ricotta cheese can use part-skim
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup fontina cheese grated
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar grated (or any other sharp flavored cheese)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves minced - from approximately 6-8 large leaves

Instructions

  • Butter a 9x13 glass or metal baking dish.
  • With a bread knife, trim the top and sides of each slice of bread. Slice each slice into 4 vertical pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium skillet over medium high heat, sauté the pancetta for 4 minutes until somewhat crispy. Don’t completely crisp it as it will crispen up further in the oven. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon of pancetta for garnish in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
  • In the same skillet, sauté the sausage crumbling it as you go, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain on another paper towel-lined plate.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 8 eggs along with the milk, half and half and ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the ricotta and parmesan along with the remaining egg, basil, salt and pepper until blended.
  • Layer the ingredients in the baking dish (in the following order): ⅓ of the sourdough bread strips**, ½ of the ricotta mixture, ½ of the sausage and ½ of the pancetta, ⅓ of the grated cheeses
  • Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients until all are used, finishing with the last layer of bread and cheeses. Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over the layered ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 350˚. Remove foil and sprinkle over the remaining pancetta. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the center is puffed, the top is golden brown, and the eggs are set. Cover with foil if needed during the last 5-10 minutes of baking. Let sit for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Notes

Make ahead. Assemble the day before serving and refrigerate overnight. Bake the next day per directions above.
Freezing. Can be frozen in the baking pan either before baking or after for up to 2 months. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil before freezing.
Can be doubled and made in two pans or halved. To halve, use 5 eggs (4 for the milk mix; 1 for the ricotta mix keeping the ricotta mix ingredients the same per the original recipe).