Recipe

Italian Sausage, Zucchini, And Bell Pepper Bread Pudding

This dish is perfect for brunch or dinner and can be made in advance, which is a real plus in my book!

  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Italian Sausage, Zucchini, And Bell Pepper Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 pound fresh Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced onion
  • 3/4 cup small-diced red bell pepper
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • marjoram leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound seeded Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes(about 8 cups)
  • 12 ounces fontina cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3/4 cup), finely grated
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken
  • broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with oil and set aside.
  • Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces, until lightly browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the herbs and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cooled sausage and vegetables and stir gently to mix well.
  • Spread 4 cups of the bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the sausage- vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with half of the fontina and half of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining bread, sausage- vegetable mixture, and cheeses.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, stock, pepper, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the casserole, making sure you cover as much of the bread as possible.
  • Bake the casserole until cooked through, the cheese has melted, and the top is golden and a nice crust has formed, about 1 hour. Set the casserole aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Note: The casserole may be assembled and then refrigerated up to overnight before being baked. Allow it to return to room temperature before baking.