We’re Celebrating St. Joseph’s Feast Day with a Sicilian Strata

Oh, happy day! As some of you already know, today, March 19th, is the feast day of the Christ Child’s earthly Father, St. Joseph. Celebrated in towns and villages throughout Italy, the life of this humble carpenter is especially commemorated in Sicily, where it is believed his intercession saved the island’s inhabitants from a drought-induced famine during the Middle Ages. Today, in the States, his feast day is remembered wherever an Italian community calls home. Here in the Bartolini kitchens, we celebrate St. Joseph with music. In years past, we assembled a band and sang a song. All that’s left to do is dance.

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Since today we celebrate Sicily’s Patron Saint, why not feature a dish from that beautiful island? That’s a great idea, though I doubt that this dish is actually Sicilian in origin. Chances are it’s an American-Italian creation, if that. Well, at least half of its name is Italian, strata being derived from the Italian word for layer, strato.

As its name suggests, a strata consists of layers of ingredients and these are held together with a custard-type mixture. Strata come in many flavors. When Zia’s youngest Son’s family comes for a visit, ofttimes 3 of her Grandsons will work together to serve brunch. One mans the smoker while the other 2 bake a strata and prepare a few side dishes. They perform like a well-oiled machine and no one leaves that table hungry.

With a Sicilian strata, it’s all about the sausage, so, be sure to use your favorite Italian sausage, or homemade if you have it. You’ll find that today’s recipe is relatively benign but you can spice it up as much as you like. This can be easily accomplished by using “hot” Italian sausage, sautéing diced hot peppers with the vegetables, and/or seasoning the vegetables with red pepper flakes.

Your strata may be served hot or at room temperature, making it perfect brunch fare. Assemble it the night before and bake it anytime before your guests are seated at the table. Add a salad, some jam for bread/toast/bagels, perhaps some fruit, and brunch is served. Best of all, instead of being stuck in the kitchen playing short-order cook, you’ll be sipping Bloody Marys with your guests.

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Sicilian Strata 1*     *     *

Sicilian Strata Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage meat, from links or patties (See Notes)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 Spring onions (scallions) chopped
  • 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, divided – Parmigiano Reggiano may be substituted
  • 8 oz (225 g) ball of fresh mozzarella, grated, divided (See Notes)
  • 1 dozen cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced, divided (See Notes)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste (See Notes)
  • chopped parsley for garnish

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Sicilian Strata 2*     *     *

Directions

  1. In a large frying pan over med-high heat, sauté sausage meat until browned. Remove to a dish and reserve.
  2. In the same pan, sauté mushrooms until just about cooked through, about 5 minutes. If needed, add some additional olive oil.
  3. Add the onions and peppers to the pan and sauté until soft, another 5 minutes.
  4. Return sausage to the pan, mix, and heat through. Remove from heat and reserve.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until well-combined.
  6. Use oil spray, vegetable oil, or butter to lightly grease a large baking dish.
  7. Build the strata:
    1. Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of bread slices.
    2. Sprinkle half of the sausage mixture over the bread.
    3. Add half of the tomatoes.
    4. Sprinkle half of the grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top.
    5. Finish this layer by adding half of the mozzarella cheese.
    6. Add another layer of sliced bread.
    7. Cover this layer with the remaining sausage mixture and tomatoes.
    8. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top of the entire dish.
    9. Finish the strata by sprinkling the rest of the Pecorino Romano and mozzarella on top.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F (175˚ C).
  10. Remove cover and bake in the center of the pre-heated oven until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 40 to 50 minutes. It should have a reading of no less than 165˚ F (74˚ C) on an instant-read thermometer. (See Notes)
  11. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before garnishing with parsley and cutting into squares for serving.

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Still not quite what you had in mind?

Then head on over to my blogging friend Nancy’s blog, Feasting with Friends. Just days ago she posted a recipe for a strata with Ham & Asparagus and it sounds delicious.

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Notes

Use whatever sausage you like, though Italian is suggested. It is a Sicilian strata, after all. I use our family sausage though you might prefer something a little sweeter or a bit more spicy. If using links, be sure to remove the sausage meat from the casings before cooking.

If using fresh mozzarella, it will be much easier to grate if you place it in your freezer for 30 to 45 minutes before grating.

As you may have seen in the photos, 8 oz of fresh mozzarella, when grated, will not result in enough mozzarella to completely cover each layer. Use more if that is what you prefer.

In Summer, I use a couple of “regular” tomatoes that I chop before adding to the strata. Being this is Winter, good tomatoes are practically impossible to find here, so, I use cherry or grape tomatoes that I slice in half. Use the best tomatoes you can, given the season.

The amount of salt you use will depend greatly upon the sausage and cheese you’ve chosen. Both can add quite a bit of salt to your strata.

Allowing the strata to come up to room temperature before baking will reduce baking time. As a precaution since you’re using raw egg, do not let the raw strata sit unrefrigerated for more than a half-hour, especially if you’ve a warm kitchen.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Bartolini Cannelloni 1Since we’re in a celebratory mood, I thought today’s blast from the past should take us back  to a recipe that was shared to commemorate a previous St. Joseph’s Feast Day. It was just about a year ago that I showed you all how to make Bartolini cannelloni, affectionately labeled a crown jewel of the Bartolini family recipe book. For a refresher course, all you need do is click HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Harissa Thighs 3Harissa Chicken

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131 thoughts on “We’re Celebrating St. Joseph’s Feast Day with a Sicilian Strata

  1. Ooh deeeeelish! Not a dish I’m really familiar with but it sounds to me like a savoury version of an English Bread and Butter pudding – and as I’m so much more a savoury girl than a sweet one I know I’d love this. The fact that you can be sipping Bloody Marys with your guests (how did you know that this is a huge favourite with me?!) is a huge bonus! There will be quite a few sore heads round our bit of the mountain tomorrow as we have lots of Joses and Josefas around these parts 🙂 It’s also Father’s Day in Spain plus a local village has it’s fiesta this weekend in celebration so there will be celebrations all round. Happy St Joseph’s Day my friend!

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    • Thanks, Tanya. What fun! I hope you’re all getting some rest today. Sounds like you need it, especially if you’re planning on returning for the fiesta this weekend. You timed your return very well. 😉

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  2. Thanks for the shout out John, so kind of you:) Your Sicilian Strata sounds delicious and looks heavenly! This recipe will definitely be made in our home….and soon.

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  3. Sicily! First place I set foot in Italy…. unforgettable! It was for a meeting on vaccine biotechnology, I was all by myself, in the glory of all my 28 years of age…. memories… ah, the memories!

    Nice recipe, John!

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    • Thanks, Sally. I drove from Palermo along the southern coastline to Syracusa the first, and only, time I was there. Absolutely loved it! I cannot think of that island without smiling.

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  4. I am so glad you posted this lovely recipe John, I’ve been making something very similar but I called it savoury bread pudding! I think strata is so much more romantic. I love that you can make it up the night before and bake it in the morning, such a lovely brunch idea. You’re photos look fantastic.
    Regarding tomatoes, I agree, this time of year they totally suck. I usually just buy the mini’s too but sometimes you just need a few more than the mini’s can make so what I do at the beginning of the week is get a bunch of the Roma tomatoes wash and thickly slice them and I ‘bake’ them at 300°F for 3-4 hours on a greased cookie rack. The baking caramelizes the sugars and makes them taste like real tomatoes! I set them in the fridge and use them in sauces or as is, depending on what I’m making.
    Your family get-togethers must be so heart (and tummy) warming, I can only imagine the love and laughter that fills the room as well as the wonderful food that fills the tummies! There is nothing lovelier than seeing men at work in the kitchen, Zia is definitely a fortunate lady for having such a wonderful family to descend on her kitchen and cook up a feast.
    That little video of Rosemary Clooney is lovely, I had no idea that song went back so far in time. What a gorgeous dress she had too.

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    • Thanks, Eva. I’ve seen strata named a number of things. Of course, on St. Joe’s, I’m going with “Sicilian Strata”. Every now and then, I’ll break down and buy a “real” tomato in Winter and, without exception, it’s such a disappointment. I love your idea of baking sliced tomatoes, though. I cannot wait to give it a try.
      Zia’s youngest had 5 children, 3 of whom are married and have given her 3 great-grandchildren. When they come to visit her, it’s quite a group and they take over the kitchen. They treat her like a queen and it’s something to see. 🙂
      I had a couple videos to choose but, in the end, my love of Rosemary won out. She really was something, wasn’t she?

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  5. Happy St Joseph’s Feast Day to you, John! I hope you are celebrating with family. Though families are generally more trouble than they’re worth, I couldn’t imagine holidays and weddings and the like without them. And Zia’s grandsons sound pretty awesome!
    I have been making a strata very much like this with home made sausage for a while….I didn’t realise I was cooking Sicilian 😉
    I know for a fact this is delicious and so convenient for brunches.
    Now, that harissa chicken…..you know I’m obsessed with harissa.
    Have a great week, John! And maybe I will send you that email 🙂

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    • Thank you, Nazneen. This time around I was without family. Zia is staying with her Son in Virginia and I stayed here in Chicago. And it was nice, nonetheless. 🙂
      Whether they’re called strata, these dishes have been around for a while and are very popular. You can’t beat them if you’ve a crowd to feed and you can alter the recipe depending upon your guest’s needs.
      I’m becoming obsessed with harissa myself. I’ve started making my own and both the harissa and chicken harissa recipes are evolving. Next week’s post is the latest iteration. I’m sure it will be a different dish a year from now.
      Send that email whenever you need. I’m here. 🙂

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  7. Mmmm. What a wonderful post, John. Now I’m craving strata AND cannelloni! Gotta love Rosemary Clooney…she could really animate and belt out a song. And I really love the line drawing backdrop scenery. So clever. Can’t wait to see your harissa dish. I adore the stuff and now can’t find it here anywhere. Perhaps you will tell us how to make it? 🙂 Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and recipes. I do like a strata but that cannelloni is really special. Rosemary was quite a gal, wasn’t she? What a talent!
      Yes, I’ll be sharing my latest harissa recipe. It’s one of those things that I bet I’ll be tinkering with for the rest of my days. 🙂

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  8. I like that gif! Really fun, and instructive. Good recipe — I’ve had these in restaurants, but it’s a dish I’ve never made myself. I should — it has so many great flavors working together. Who cares if this is authentic Italian (or even Italian-American)? If it’s good, that’s all that matters. And this looks awfully good. Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

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    • Thanks, John, we share the same philosophy. If it’s good, I really don’t care about a dish’s name. It’s the taste and content that matters. I’d love to see a strata that the Riff’s kitchen prepared. Now that would be something!

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    • Thanks, Rachel. Not all Italians commemorate the Feast Day, nor all communities. It’s a much bigger deal on the East Coast. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse for a party that doesn’t involve green. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

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  9. Happy St. Joseph’s Day. This strata looks wonderful and it will be coming to my kitchen sometime soon. I retired at the end of November and am doing a lot more cooking these days, so your recipe file folder is going to be well used. Thanks!

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    • Happy retirement!!! That’s great news! I’m sure you’ll find plenty to keep yourself occupied, if you haven’t already. This will make a good meal when your gang is seated at the table and you can adjust the contents to suit your own family’s tastes. It really is a favorite of Zia’s family, and with good reason. You’ll see. 🙂

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  10. Happy St. Joseph’s Day! I think you’re right, it’s probably not a traditional Sicilian dish (I didn’t grow up with my mother or grandmother making this), but I too prepare it with sausage and mozzarella and serve it typically when we have house guests. The aroma from the oven generally brings everyone to the table, including my children. Can I mention how much I love Rosemary Clooney?! Thanks for putting in the video of her belting out Mambo Italiano…that was a treat and made me smile!

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    • Thank you. I hope your St Joseph’s was a good day, too. Yeah, I think the only thing Sicilian in this recipe is its name. That’s fine. It sure does taste good and, you’re right. It’s aroma does bring people to the table. I’m a big fan of Rosemary, too. When I found the video, there was little doubt that I’d use it in this post. What a talent!

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  11. Breakfast? Naw, I make that for dinner…a small green salad and a glass of a light red, and we’re golden! Change the cheese, change the meat, change the veggies, and the varieties can be endless…and the Munchkins eat it, too 🙂

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    • To be honest, the strata in the photos was served for dinner. Light being what it is around here in Winter, many of my “photo” meals are served at the oddest times. How great that your Little Ones both like this, Marie. A dish that’s easy to prepare ant that the kids like? Priceless!

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      • I always have a stash of bread too, however, as my boys grow older they seem to sniff out my stored food supplies and eat them at a rapid pace! I would love to be in Sicily right now, I bet it is beautiful this time of year.

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    • Thanks, Stefan. Over here, St Joe’s often gets lost in the St Pat’s festivities, though the “Little Italys” usually do something. I’m not surprised you’ve not heard of a strata. I seriously doubt it’s of Italian origins and someone earlier called it a savory bread pudding. No matter, really. It’s still a great dish. Yeah, do try the cannelloni. I think you’ll like ’em. 🙂

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  12. I’d never heard of Strata, John. But this sounds/looks a delicious creation. Much Wenlock is not good on Italian ingredients, however. I might have to think about this, though it seems unlikely that a Shropshire version would quite be up to scratch.

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    • The thing about this dish, Tish, is that you can vary the ingredients as much as you like. The possibilities are endless. I have to admit, though, your Shropshire version has piqued my curiosity. I hope you do prepare one and blog about it. 🙂

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  13. Yum! Making my mouth water! I love dishes with the “make ahead” option. I will be using this when my family is camping – the RV has such a tiny little kitchen that I love to put together a brunch recipe the night before while everyone is winding down and pop it into the little oven the next morning when everyone is bustling about (translation: everyone is IN MY WAY). 🙂

    Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

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    • Thanks, Susan. I hope you enjoyed the holiday. Yes, this would work perfectly in an RV, where being able to build it the night before is heaven-sent. It will feed a crowd, too. 🙂

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  14. Oh! The cannelloni pic reminded me of your lasagna. I still have half in the freezer from Xmas Eve. It will be reheated soon!!!! Your strata sounds delicious. I love easy and tasty brunch dishes. Perhaps Mother’s Day brunch this year….that’s a day I really like easy (or I just turn over the kitchen altogether!) And definitely hot sausage for this crew. I have a feeling Mike would make this his monthly exception. 😉

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    • Thanks, Kristy. I don’t know how you’ve managed to keep that lasagna for so long. I haven’t nearly that much self-control. It would have been gone in a week, if that. To be honest, I had intended to sprinkle red pepper flakes on one side of the strata but, forgot. That is a great option, though, if someone at your table has more “vanilla” tastes. Here I am, again, the Pied Piper of Carnivores, but now Mike is the target. 🙂

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  15. Hope you did have a good St Joseph’s Day by the time I manage to click on 🙂 ! Being pretty ignorant of Italian food south of Napoli I’ll take your word that Sicily somehow comes into this comfort food dish surely to be enjoyed on multiple levels!! Must feel cheeky this morning ’cause feel like calling it Sicilian lasagne or Italian smorrebrod 😉 ! Certainly filling and full of flavour!!!

    Off topic: know you love baseball ~ Has it been broadcast in the US that your Dodgers and Diamondbacks have taken over the Sydney Cricket Ground [yes, we did refigure it] for a series of matches our very successful cricket season being over? The US may not be aware this is not a sport much known or played Down Under . . .

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    • Hello, Eha. I don’t think this is at all a Sicilian dish, Eha. Someone called it that because of the Italian sausage, I imagine. No matter. It’s a great dish to serve when you’ve got company for brunch.
      Yes, I was aware that the 2 teams went to Oz for exhibition games. Believe me, the League knows that baseball has very few, if any, fans Down Under — that’s why they’ve come to play. If they can engender a fan base, one day, years from now, they’d like to have teams in Oz. These are experiments nothing more. They’re doing the same thing with American football in the UK. Those games have been surprisingly well-attended. Will that translate into a team or two in the UK? I think we’re years away from that happening, if it’s going to happen.

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      • John ~ On the positive side at least 3-5 minutes of every night’s news is devoted to the baseball now on! You ‘Yanks’ have been here before 🙂 ! Of course we ‘crow’ that whilst Wrigley’s Field [yours I believe, kind Sir!?] was opened in 1914, the Sydney Cricket Ground had teams playing in 1988! [big deal!!!!]. We DO have baseball teams currently of Australian origin. But summer is for cricket and winter for about 4-5 different codes of football [no, the US would not fit, sorry!] it may take years, as you say, for a break-in!. Being totally honest ~ personally I love individual rather than team sports. I have seen baseball matches on TV and enjoyed them but I would far rather watch cricket – there is no way you would understand that, but remember I grew up with a ‘British Commonwealth’ mindset and I love the game!! We have only begun here so I do not know how well attended the matched will be as the ‘footie season’ has just begun 🙂 ! Interesting to watch from the sidelines!!

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  16. Happy St Joseph’s Day, John! I’ve listened to Rosemary (although I’ve seen better mamboing from Captain Jean-Luc Picard), sung along with the Tippiti Tippiti Ta Orchestra, puzzled over Lazy Mary’s future, and admired your crocuses. Thanks for mentioning them. More crocuses will come, one day soon.

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    • I am so glad you enjoyed the post and musical selections. I hope you enjoyed the holiday, too. The crocuses are either snow-covered or in a soggy mess of leaves. I’m afraid to rake anything because I’ll probably uproot some. It’s going to be a day by day thing this year. I’ll keep checking and then, one afternoon, go nuts clearing i all out. I’ve a feeling it will be in a few days. That will be fun!

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  17. OK, so we definitely have some sort of synchronicity going on here. I was just last night looking at some strata recipes in an old Lidia Bastianich cookbook. And, of course, you know that Rosemary Clooney is from Kentucky. 🙂 Happy St. Joseph’s Feast Day!

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    • Ha! Well, with St Joe being the patron saint of Sicily, this faux Sicilian dish sounded perfect. I’ll admit to having a tough time finding a suitable video, and then Rosie entered the stage. It was no contest. Ms Clooney will win hands-down, every time as long as I’m judging. 🙂

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  18. This is a wonderful recipe, John. I love eggs, and this would actually be a good dinner in my house, as well as breakfast and brunch. I have made variations of this strata before, but there’s something very complete in these combinations of ingredients. I hope you found a way to celebrate St. Joseph’s Feast Day. It isn’t really a part of my family’s tradition, but I love the story that comes from the Middle Ages. And I’m always ready to sing along with Rosemary Clooney or Dino’s version of this song. Maybe somewhere in my familial line there is just a little Italian…I’d like to think. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Debra. There’s much to like about this dish. The ingredients can vary to suit you and your dinner mates’ tastes. It really is easy to assemble and you can do it the day before. If you’re planning a brunch, this is the dish to serve. But you’re right. It can be served for any meal and you won’t get any complaints.
      Rosemary Clooney is my girl! I could listed to that voice all day long! I’m glad that she was so well-received in this post. 🙂

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  19. Another revelation from The Bartolini Kitchens! Yum, I thought – just was I need when friends come to stay, or I’m part of a house party and am in charge of brunch. Then I popped over to Nancy’s blog, and she says she freezes hers, so maybe I don’t have to wait till I have a house party of my own – just a weekend that feels special. 🙂

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    • I was happy to see that Nancy freezes her, too, Meredith. I though making it the day before was a good thing. Being able to prepare it days or a week beforehand really does simplify things if you’ve got a gang over. I will definitely give that a try. 🙂

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  20. Hey Mambo! I’m going to be singing all night! Love this strata John. I totally love dishes that can be put in the fridge overnight and served for breakfast. Used to do them quite often when the kids were still home. But I’m saving this recipe for when they do come home. But then again-I might not wait that long!

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    • It’s such a great song, isn’t it? I have to offer some music for the feast day, Abbe, and Rosie was long overdue to make an appearance. These strata are so convenient for a crowd at breakfast or brunch. You can make them pretty much anytime the day before and you’ll be fine. Nancy says that she freezes hers, so, you can prepare them even earlier. This would be perfect when the kids come back for one of the holidays. You can sit at the table and enjoy their company. 🙂

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  21. Happy St. Joseph’s Day, John. Joseph is my father’s and also my son’s and grandson’s middle name. Your slideshow is terrific! I forgot to capture the bread altar this year. http://rutheh.com/2012/03/22/carmela-baked-all-these-breads-for-st-joseph-feast-day/
    Your posts are always a treasure of good information, thorough instructions for the preparation of something delicious, and filled with love of family, honoring those who have gone on before. Your blog insures that the heritage is preserved with care and great attention to detail! (including “the crown jewel of the Bartolini kitchens…”) and oh, for a good tomato. Winter has gone on for too long! If we were in NYC we could get a special pastry at Rocco’s Pasticerria.

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    • Thank you, Ruth. I hope you enjoyed the holiday, too. I remember the St Joseph’s bread display and even showed it to Zia. That’s a real blast from the past for us both. It’s been ages since either of us had seen a display like that.
      Thank you, too, for leaving such a thoughtful compliment, as you do with every post I write. I hope you realize how much a appreciate your visits.
      My kingdom for a truly vine-ripened tomato! The farmer’s market cannot open here soon enough!

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  22. I’m cooking with Italian sausage tonight although I’m not making this. I wish I was! What a yummy looking meal and I love the combination of ingredients and how there’s nine eggs in there! I’m taking the sausage out of the casings and making a pasta! It’s lovely that Joseph is being remembered. He’s often overlooked and not a lot is known about him. Apparently he didn’t live very long as Mary was a widow at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. That’s what people speculate because while on the cross he asked if John could take care of His mother xx

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    • Thanks, Charlie. You’re right, Joseph played an important role but not much was written about him. His Feast Day is a big deal in Siciiy, though. and in a number of Latin and Hispanic countries, Father’s Day is also on St Joseph’s Feast day. It’s a nice tradition.
      I love making pasta with sausage meat. That’s one of the reasons I no longer make sausage links but only patties. They’re so much easier to deal with in other recipes. Best of all, making patties takes about half the time of making links. 😉

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  23. Buono Sera John! Happy belated St. Joseph’s Day. I love your idea for a make ahead breakfast that is super hearty that can bake away as your pour the bloody marys. I think your homemade sausage is the only way to go on this recipe. I hope you had the chance to visit and enjoy family and friends on this special day. I can’t wait to read your recipe for Harissa Chicken. I am sure my boys who love the heat in their dishes will love that recipe as well. Take care, BAM

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    • Buona notte, BAM!!! A Belated Happy St Joseph’s Feast Day to you, too! Thanks for your kind words about this dish. I realize that it’s not something you woudl enjoy. I wish I was more versed in GF breads and other substitutes. I’d love to try to great a GF and DF version. It’s always good to have these dishes in one’s repertoire. You never know when BAM might grace my brunch table. 🙂

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      • Buona Notte, John! I would love anything you make and would be asking for seconds. I am not celiac but just intolerant of gluten so I can eat whatever I want I just pay for it later. Now that would be fun to be at your brunch table. Be careful what you ask for as if I brought along my 2 hungry teenagers we would need to double your recipe… Have a super weekend. BAM

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  24. John, we tried this and it was yummy. We have always chopped up the bread for a strata but loved this twist on it to leave whole slices. We substituted some veggies for things we had in the fridge so we just changed the name to Kitchen Sink Strata which went over well with the boys!

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. “Kitchen Sink Stata” is sure to be a hit with them. Whatever works, I say go for it! I’m glad, too, that you used what you had on-hand rather than sticking to the recipe. As you saw, just about anything will work, so long as you’ve bread, eggs, and milk. 🙂

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  25. Ah, Rosemary! Great clip John. I went out to pick up some mozzarella & I’ve got this all set to pop in the oven for tonight. When you’ve got a great idea you just have to go with it. Thanks for that tip on putting the mozzarella in the freezer. I always make quite a mess of it & never thought to do that.

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  26. Belated Happy Saint Joseph day, John. Everything looks delicious! With all these great food, I bet the celebration went well. Can’t wait for the Harissa chicken. I’m interested to try it for dinner next time. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes, John as well as the tip about mozzarella cheese. Have a lovely day! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Anna. I hope you enjoyed the day, too, and I’m glad you enjoy my posts. You’re such a great supporter of my efforts and I’m very appreciative. Have a great week!

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  27. Yes, to repeat the sentiment – Happy, if belated, Saint Joseph Day. I haven’t made strata in ages. It looks wonderful, as all your dishes do, so I must soon and I will use this as my guide. When living in Boston I had it often at my Italian friend’s for Sunday brunch. Yum. I like it because you can tuck so many different and delicious ingredients inside.

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    • Thanks, Susie, I hope you enjoyed the day, too. I totally agree that this is one of the most versatile of dishes. You really can switch out just about everything but the eggs, bread, and milk. For me, being able to build it the day before the “event” is the key. The less I have to do the day of the meal, the better. I have a quota of Bloody Marys to consume, you know. 😀

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    • The ingredient list, Glenda, is probably the most Italian thing about the recipe. You can use stale, day old bread and the rest is basically whatever is in the fridge. It comes together and will feed a gang. Italian comfort brunch food. 🙂

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  28. Happy belated Saint Joseph’s Day, John! You never cease teaching me new stuff: I was not aware of strata and was happy to learn about them – they sure look great! 🙂

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  29. Hi, John. A happy belated holiday to you! I enjoy learning about new celebrations, and this one sounds like a winner, between the music and great food. Thank you for sharing another family recipe. Are there any special memories behind the dish? The ingredients speak to me: not too many, all high quality and sing in harmony together (in your kitchen!). “John’s tips” at the end are great, as well. When Greg’s family gets together, his aunt Cathy always makes strata, which Greg’s family loves. Like yours, it is beautifully “strato” or layered (you are educating me!). She is the only family member who knows the recipe… next time we visit them in Atlanta, I will make yours! Have a wonderful weekend. Best, Shanna

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  30. In my opinion, no one can sing “Mambo Italiano” like Rosemary Clooney. She had such an amazing voice.

    I’ve never had Sicilian (or any other) strata before, and I feel a little sad about that. However, I know about it now! It looks amazing.

    Also, I like the photo gallery you’ve included for this. Very efficient way to present the photos and it gives us readers a good visual for how the layers look.

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  31. sei bravissimo in tutto: a cucinare a raccontare! qui in Toscana per la festa di san Giuseppe si cucunano ogni tipo di frittelle, io di solito le cucino di riso e di mele
    è sempre davvero speciale passare da te
    buona notte

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  32. Oh my, you had me at frying the sausage meat in a pan!! I’m a huge fan of multi-layered dishes – so generous and satisfying. This looks deeply delicious, John, pun entirely intended! 🙂

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  33. Belated Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Sicily is close to my country (neighboring via sea-border), so i take pride in its beauty too! I loved listening to the song by Rosemary Clooney, haven’t heard it in a while! And the strata does sound tempting!

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  34. It sure looks great, John, and it’s perfect for party times. I’m all for food that can been assembled in advance so you can enjoy yourself instead of slaving in the kitchen. I’ll ask my daddy about this dish. He was born and raised in Sicily so he’ll know for sure! 🙂
    Hope you had a great St. Joseph’s Day! In Italy, it is Father’s Day so I called my daddy in Rome to wish him a wonderful day! 🙂

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  35. Beautiful song….so Clooney is Italian. Which explains why a certain George Clooney has such smashing good looks….

    Jokes apart, this is a wonderful post. I have always been fascinated by Sicily. Such a gorgeous dish, this would go down so well with kids as well as adults and would make for a perfect party meal as well. Thanks for posting this.

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  36. I made a strata a few times that was mostly cheesy.. I love your savory version, John, it would hit a home run with my son who is crazy about anything with spicy sausage in it! I’m late.. but I hope you had a great Feast Day! Whoever got to share this dish with you would be celebrating for certain!!xx

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