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Spinach and Pancetta Pizza

Preparing 4 Delicious Recipes on Marion’s New Year’s Day Brunch

On New Year’s Day, many people will not want to fuss too much in the kitchen, which is why a delicious brunch is perfect. After a night toasting the old and ringing in the new, why not begin the New Year with an easy and relaxing, delicious brunch. Invite friends and family over, especially the little ones. Food always plays a big role in our holidays, so some of these brunch recipes are basic, while others are more elaborate. 

Ricotta Pancakes with Compote and Apple-Mascarpone Cream

If you are preparing brunch for a larger group, just double the recipe, or even triple it, depending on the size of the crowd!


For the Apple-Mascarpone Cream

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 oz mascarpone

For the Apple-Berry Compote

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

For the Ricotta Pancakes

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • butter for skillet


First make the apple-mascarpone cream by combining the apples, sugar, cinnamon and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over a low flame, stirring occasionally until the apples are completely tender, about 12 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring until reduced to the consistency of applesauce, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely. Once cool, combine ½ cup of the applesauce with the mascarpone; mix to blend. You can make this a day or two beforehand and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

To make the apple-berry compote, combine the apple cider and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until syrupy, about 10 minutes. Cool until warm. Add the strawberries, blackberries and blueberries to the syrup. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the pancakes, mix the ricotta cheese, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Carefully fold in the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir until just combined, avoiding over-mixing. Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Place a pat of butter onto skillet and wait for it to sizzle. Pour batter in ½ cup portions and cook until golden brown on each side.

To serve, add a stack of pancakes to each plate. Top with apple-berry compote and dollop some apple-mascarpone cream on the side.

Cheese, Spinach and Pancetta Pizza with Fried Eggs

What would a New Year’s brunch be without some pizza!


  • 4 oz thinly sliced or chopped pancetta
  • 5 oz baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • One 16 oz pizza dough
  • 8 oz mozzarella, grated
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs


Place the oven rack on the highest level and preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the pancetta in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the pancetta in a skillet over a medium-high flame, stirring often, until crispy, 6- 8 minutes. Drain half of the fat. Add the spinach and turn off the heat. Stir until the spinach wilts. Set aside.

Dust an upside-down rimmed baking sheet with the flour. Gently stretch the pizza dough and place onto the floured tray. The dough should be stretched to about a thickness of 1/4″ thick, leaving it a bit thicker around the edges. Sprinkle the dough with half of the mozzarella. Add the spinach/pancetta mixture and top with the remaining cheese. Place the sheet tray on the bottom of the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Move the tray to the top shelf and finish cooking until the crust is golden brown, 5-7 minutes.

While the pizza cooks, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over a medium flame. Cook the sunny side up eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are still a little soft, about 3 minutes. Top the pizza with the eggs and serve.

Broccoli, Cheese and Pancetta Frittata

Fritattas often include a variety of chopped vegetables, meats and cheeses, so they’re a great way to use leftovers that you have on hand.


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, separated into small florets
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 1½ cup Asiago cheese, shaved


Melt the vegetable oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat and add the chopped pancetta. Sauté until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and sauté until it just begins to become tender, but still remains firm, about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Parmigiano, salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli and pancetta evenly in the pan, then pour in the eggs. Reduce to medium-low and cook without stirring until the edges begin to set, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully lift up the edges and let the uncooked eggs flow underneath. Continue to cook without stirring, until the eggs are almost set on top, 5 to 8 minutes more.

While the frittata is cooking, preheat a broiler. Sprinkle the frittata evenly with the shaved Asiago. Place the frittata under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve immediately.

Pesto Chicken Strata

You will love the hearty flavor of this rustic strata.


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup pignoli nuts, toasted
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8 cups cubed Italian bread
  • additional chopped fresh basil leaves


Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 6-8 minutes, until no longer pink. Drain.

In a large bowl, mix the basil, 1 cup Parmigiano cheese, the mozzarella cheese, pignoli nuts and minced garlic. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.

Layer half of the bread cubes in a greased 13” x 9” baking dish, followed by a third of the cheese mixture and half of the chicken. Repeat the layers. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano cheese. Refrigerate, covered for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the strata from refrigerator while the oven heats. Bake uncovered, 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional chopped basil and serve.