I just love casseroles in the winter. I found this recipe in a cookbook that has easier/ speedy meals for the working mom. It is a perfect cookbook for me. I have a large cookbook collection and have been very bad with using them lately. They are just sitting on a shelf in my pantry collecting dust. I made a goal for myself (since Novemeber 2009) that I would pick 1-2 new recipes each week. I have done fairly well keeping up with my goal.
I have made baked potatoe soup, seafood lasagna, cranberry/cornbread stuffed pork chops, baked salmon with honey glaze, pita pizzas, chicken salad, white chili, and pasta primavera to name a few. So far all have been a hit with the family. My oldest (15.5 years) is the pickiest and she has liked most of them. . She used to be a better eater than she is now, I wonder if teenage years have anything to do with this. :0 This contemporary casserole is a mixture of Italian and Frech cuisine. The savory custard dipped bread comes from the France and the other ingredients are definately Italian. I tried to get a picture before my family "dug in" but obviously that did not happen. This casserole is perfect by itself or perfect to serve with a mixed green salad with Italian cheeses and a vinegrette.
1.5 lbs of Italian sausage links, casing removed
1 medium zucchini
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo sauce. divided
1/2 C milk
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1/8 tsp. salt
12 slices of firm Italian bread, 1-2 days old
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 T fresh parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and cook in frying pan until no longer pink and well browned. Remove sausage from pan and drain.
While meat is browning slice zucchini and mushrooms thinly. Dice red pepper. Add 1 cup Alfredo sauce to the pan and bring to boil. Stir in sausage and vegetables and toss until all is covered with sauce. Pour mixture in 2.5 quart oval or square baking dish mounding in center.
Whisk remaining Alfredo sauce, milk, and eggs. Add garlic, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, and salt.
Cut crusts off the bread and dip into egg mixture, coating lightly; overlap bread in a circular pattern over sausage mixture. If using square pan go around edges, evenly spacing leaving center open.
Drain tomatoes and add remaining Italian seasonings. Spoon tomato mixture over the open center. Grate the cheese ove rthe top of the entire dish (bread and all).
Bake 30-35 minutes or until edges of bread are golden and toasted. Serves 8 people.