This satisfying savory pudding of homemade croutons, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese is a colorful addition to a holiday table.
Yield: serves 8-10
- 1 (1-lb.) loaf country bread, cut into 1" pieces
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup grated pecorino romano
- 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. roughly chopped thyme
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in purée, crushed by hand
- 1 (16-oz.) can tomato purée
- Heat oven to 375°. Toss bread with 1⁄2 cup oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 10–15 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until golden, 5–7 minutes. Stir in stock, half the pecorino, plus sugar, lemon juice, thyme, tomatoes, and tomato purée; cook until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over bread; let sit until slightly cooled, then, using hands, lightly mash and stir together. Transfer to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Sprinkle remaining pecorino over top and drizzle with remaining oil; bake until golden brown and bubbling, 25–30 minutes.