Strada is a delicious, savory version of bread pudding. This recipe combines all of the things I love about pizza - oven roasted tomatoes, pepperoni, basil, oregano and cheesy goodness – without the need to mess with pizza dough. Using day old artisanal bread and a savory egg custard base, this dinner could not be an easier or more satisfying. With a mixed greens salad on the side, this is my definition of the ideal no-fuss dinner!
4 cups cherry tomatoes3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilKosher salt8 large eggs2 cups half and half2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil1 tablespoon chopped fresh oreganoPinch of crushed red pepper flakes1/2 pound stale artisanal bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)8 ounces fresh milk mozzarella, diced3 ounces pepperoni, ½-inch dice3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheeseFreshly ground black pepper
Preheat an oven to 400 F.
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss together and season with salt. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer and roast in the oven until the tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes..
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside. Add the bread and let sit 5 minutes.
With the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, oil a 2 1/2-qt. baking dish. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni and half of the Grana Padano to the egg and bread mixture. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Grana Padano onto the top and bake until the strata has set and is golden on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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