I have to be honest with you. I am not creative at all when it comes to the weekday breakfast.
At 5:30 AM, all I want is coffee, and, as my family will tell you, I’m pretty grumpy until that happens.
I’ve really never been a morning person. Growing up, I struggled to get myself out the door for school while my mom wanted to chat about everything under the sun. Fortunately for me, my kids share my morning attitude and don’t expect a lot of pre-dawn conversation.
And though we may be happy to share our morning silence, I can’t exactly share my freshly brewed breakfast with them.
(They would probably love that, though…they are my kids, after all, and they love the smell coffee.)
The problem is, a lot of breakfast foods are loaded with sugar, and a mid-morning sugar crash during a math lesson isn’t going to get anyone on the honor roll. I decided that I wanted to cut out that morning sugar and go for something less like dessert and more like lunch. No more cereals, sweet buns, coffee cakes…suddenly, this was sounding like work.
Then the perfect solution came to me…a nice savory Italian Breakfast Casserole that I discovered over the summer while in Lucca.
I’m excited to share this with you for a few reasons: my kids love it, I love that it’s not loaded with sugar, and it’s easy enough that I can even handle it while having that crucial first cup of coffee.
It’s very simple and is made of leftover pasta sauce combined with bread, cheese, and eggs. That’s right; it’s easy, delicious, and uses up your leftovers!
So the next time you make pasta for dinner, set aside that extra sauce and give this recipe a try. It might even make you a morning person. (Well, maybe.)
Serves about 4
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
About 1 cup of leftover pasta sauce (make sure it is a tomato based sauce)
6 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup of shredded gruyere cheese
2 Tablespoons of grated Parmigiano (Parmesan)
1/4 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Toast to serve it with or added to the egg mixture
Optional – 1/4 cup of pancetta or bacon pieces mixed in the egg mixture
1. In a bowl combine eggs, pasta sauce, and milk – mix all together.
Note: If you like (and sometimes I do) add about 2 pieces of toast torn in pieces to the mixture.
2. Lightly oil a baking dish or coat with nonstick spray. (I used a 8 inch square baking dish).
3. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
4. Top with Gruyere and Parmigiano; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Place into oven and bake until eggs are cooked through, about 10- 15 minutes.
NOTE: Because all ovens are different – take a peek at the 10 minute mark, if it is still loose in the middle pop it back in the oven for 3 more minutes. If it is still loose after that then take it out and with a fork or spoon mix it up a bit so that it doesn’t dry out and put back in the oven for 3 more minutes.
6. Serve immediately, garnished with arugula or basil leaves, if desired. Oh and don’t forget the toast.