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Tomato and Spinach Strata

Tomato and Spinach Strata

recipe ingredients
Tomato sauce:
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (28 oz each) plum tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or oregano
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Strata:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3/4 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 lb. nonfat ricotta cheese
2 10-oz pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 loaf (one pound) Italian bread, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 lb. part skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 cups skim milk
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

recipe directions
Prepare in advance..

To make tomato sauce:

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened; add garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme or oregano. Cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up tomatoes, for 15 to 20 minutes or till thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. Allow to cool. You can prepare the sauce a day or two in advance, if desired.

To make strata:

Lightly coat two 8x12 (or two 2-quart) casseroles with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes till softened, but not browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining olive oil to skillet and increase heat to medium high. Add mushrooms and saute until the moisture has evaporated, then transfer to bowl with onions and season with half of the salt and pepper. Combine ricotta cheese with remaining salt and pepper, nutmeg, and spinach.

Spoon about 1/4 of the tomato sauce into one of the pans. Arrange 1/4 of the bread slices over sauce. Spoon half of the spinach mixture over this, then top with another layer of bread. Top this with half of the onion mushroom mixture. Put half of the mozzarella cheese slices over this, then spoon another quarter of the tomato sauce over cheese. Repeat these steps for the other pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and milk. Pour half of mixture gently over each casserole, poking the bread gently with the tip of a knife until the mixture has been absorbed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350*F. Bake the strats, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes more, or until puffy and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, cut into squares, and serve hot.

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Serves: 12 - Nutrition Information Per Serving:
calories total fat sat fat protein fiber sodium (mg) carbs ww pts
340 9 4 28 3 979 39 7