Jul 10, 2012

Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Strata

This has been one of those weeks, you know, all work and not much fun. And a lot colder. I couldn´t get away with not sleeping with the heat on or grabbing lunch in the terrace with the winter sun as company. Not today.

When nothing else works and I already cooked so much that I can´t start another recipe without overflowing either my fridge or counter space I go for a walk. It can help me turn my whole vision around and find perspective. And boy, did I need that today. It was imperative that I cleared my mind, tried to focus on positive stuff, do some rearranging of priorities and begin to take some extremely tough business decisions. Those that make you breathe deep and trust. Trust in yourself and an uncertain future, which really, is a combination that takes a lot of faith. 

There is a little video that I found through a blogger friend. It shows how the success stories of many were achieved after going through a certain amount of tough moments that include failures, rejection, stuff like that. A life like yours and mine. I know you´re probably rolling your eyes, like that´s new. But running into this video was inspiring. How much are you willing to believe in yourself? It´s a difficult thing to do sometimes.

It reminded me of a TV add that run here (in spanish) ages ago, and was based on the same idea. I never forgot it and now it comes back at a critical moment. Yeah, I´m one of those who believe we make our own life and have the power to change ourselves even in the most challenging of moments. So I tend to look for clues when I´m between a rock and a hard place.  

Anyway, I bundled up and spent hours walking, running errands, talking to friends and getting much needed perspective. When I got home I was pretty wet and famished. Did I tell you it started to rain at some point? Did I care? No.

This strata was waiting for me. Isn´t that an interesting name for what is, in the end, a savory bread pudding? Some cubed dill and red onion bread, sausage, cheese, dried tomatoes, custard. The perfect comfort food that comes out of the oven puffed and gloriously golden, begging for a spoon to cut through that eggy crust and reach the creamy interior.
It works year-round and with so many combinations of seasonal ingredients. A great recipe for leftover bread and brunch.

from Bon Appetit, April 1996

I made half the recipe. As you can see in the pictures, I didn´t have any parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


½ cup sun dried tomatoes, not oil packed, chopped
12 oz. (340g) sausage, casings removed
3 ½ cups whole milk
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound (450g) dill and red onion bread, crusts trimmed, cut into pieces
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Fontina cheese
Chopped fresh parsley


Place sun dried tomatoes in medium bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to cover. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Sauté sausages in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until cooked through, breaking up with the back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towels and drain well.
Butter 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Whisk milk, eggs, thyme, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add tomatoes, sausage, bread, parmesan, fontina and mozzarella and stir to blend. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Bake strata uncovered until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley if desired and serve. 


  1. Looks like a great comfort food for cold weather :)

  2. I've come to realize this too, that you have to cause the changes you want to happen in your life, and sometimes the hardest thing is believing in yourself. I hope your worries were partially resolved by this strata, which sounds perfect for the cold weather.

  3. Ooh, tasty looking comfort food!

  4. Sounds like a tough week. But! This strata is just beautiful - from the photos you cooked it perfectly! Can't wait to try this!

  5. Another great recipe! It makes me yearn for winter so I can make it! ~ David

  6. I like this. It's so true that sometimes doing a physical thing like walking, running errands, feeling our muscles moving, the heat of the sun on our faces or the cool of the evening changing our breath, can be just the thing to calm down our minds. Good idea.

  7. What a great post and what a great recipe!!!

  8. Paula, Such a delicious looking strata…something warm and inviting to come home to! Perfect for a cold, damp winter day! Hope this week is better for you!

  9. It's 114 degrees here today, Paula, so this is not something I will put together now. But, this is a perfect supper for Fall in Aspen and I have linked this recipe to my must-dos and plan to serve it in a few months. It just looks comfy. I hope things are turning around for you. Sometimes very difficult moments turn into opportunities. Ate you rolling your eyes? It's true and it appears that you are one talented lady.

  10. Mmmm I don't believe I've ever had strata but now I want to dig right in.

    And good for you in believing you create your own path. It's not the easiest way to think of things but with the way life has been (it's apparently so stressful for people that Ny-Quil now has a generic sleep aid you can just buy without a presription!) it's important to believe in yourself and trust that you're doing the right thing.


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.