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 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cups 2 percent milk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or part-skim mozzarella cheesePreheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 teaspoon basil until blended; spread onto six bread slices. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining bread. Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter. Arrange in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
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.
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.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.