TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + standing YIELD: 6 servings
- 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
- 12 slices Italian, sourdough or rye bread (1/2 inch thick)
- 6 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-3/4 cups 2% milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 teaspoon basil until blended; spread onto 6 bread slices. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining bread. Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter. Arrange in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.
- 2. In a small saucepan, combine tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining basil; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- 3. Whisk eggs in a large bowl; gradually whisk in a third of the milk mixture. Stir in remaining milk mixture; pour over sandwiches. Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend.
- 4. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.