Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

I made two recipes, one sweet, and one savory. On the sweet side, I made Chocolate Brownie Waffles with Blackberry Sauce. Sounds amazing, right? Sadly, I couldn’t get the waffles to come out right – the batter seemed very thick, and once it went into the waffle iron, I couldn’t get any waffles to stay together. They were super delicate, and at the same time dried out quickly. As I started the savory recipe – Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast. I could barely stop myself from eating all the lemon-scented spinach and ricotta filling before stuffing the bread, and the marinara sauce was easy to make and well-spiced. It was a little tricky stuffing the toast, but I eventually got the hang of it. I also tried it grilled cheese style, and by just toasting the bread and then spreading it with the ricotta – all three ways worked great. Served with a green salad, this would make a fantastic family dinner recipe, especially if you’re tired of spaghetti and lasagna but still craving Italian food.

Book Club: Breakfast for Dinner // Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

Book Club: Breakfast for Dinner // Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

Book Club: Breakfast for Dinner // Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

Makes 8 slices (serves 4).

  • 4 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 c. fresh baby spinach (about 6-oz.)
  • 1/2 c. whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 loaf soft french bread, cut into 8 slices 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 3 egg
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 c. marinara sauce (store-bought, or see recipe below)
  1. Heat 2 TBS of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, and saute for 30 seconds, then add the spinach, and saute, stirring, until it has all wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped spinach, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, basil, and oregano until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small baking dish, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Use a serrated knife to cut a slit into each piece of bread, and then use the knife to stuff 2 TBS of filling into each slit. Heat the remaining 2 TBS olive oil in the frying pan. One at a time, dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture for 30 seconds on each side. Add to the frying pan, but don’t overcrowd the slices. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, if you’re having a tough time stuffing the bread, you can make these grilled cheese style, or simply dip and toast the bread, then spread with ricotta afterwards.) Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Easy Marinara

Makes 2 cups.

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and saute for 3 minutes, or until onion has softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes, 1/4 c. of water, basil, and oregano. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Book Club: Breakfast for Dinner // Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

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