Croziflette, French Pasta Bake with Bacon & Reblochon
So here we are, me and the hubs. Visiting Switzerland and the French Alps region by car. We set up camp in the beautiful town of Chamonix located right next to the Mont Blanc mountain, the highest mountain in Europe. Since our rental apartment has this fully equipped kitchen I was ready to start cooking some local specialty dishes!Off we go to the local supermarket and buy lovely diot sausages, dried mushrooms, several local cheeses, some wine, raclette, potatoes and a box of crozets pasta. I’m ready to start cooking!
So for this crozotto I needed the crozets pasta, reblochon cheese and bacon. Check. You can also make this recipe with cured ham instead of bacon. I like to use bacon because it makes this dish look very much like another French classic, tartiflette: a gratin dish with scalloped potatoes, bacon, onions and reblochon cheese.
I grated the reblochon cheese and added some leftover cheddar as well. Since reblochon has a rather soft texture, I leave the cheese in the fridge for a couple of days and grate it when it is ice cold in the middle. No need to remove the rind! Some recipes will ask you to slice the reblochon cheese into large slivers and put those on top of the crozets, onion and bacon mixture. Enjoy this one!
My croziflette: a French pasta bake with local crozets, bacon and reblochon cheese. One of my favorite French Alps mountain dishes!
- 12,5 oz (350 g) crozets pasta
- 5,5 oz (155 g) salted bacon, diced
- 7 oz (200 g) reblochon cheese, grated
- ½ cup (120 ml) cream
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- Fill a large and high pan with tap water and add a pinch of salt. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a good boil. Once boiling, pour in the crozets pasta.
- Boil the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta rises to the surface. Don’t overcook it! In the meantime peel and chop the small yellow onion and the garlic clove. Add the unsalted butter to a large non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once the butter has melted fully, add the chopped onion, garlic and the diced bacon.
- Gently fry the onion and bacon in the butter for about 5 to 6 minutes until the onion is soft and the bacon is cooked through. Once the crozets pasta is tender and cooked, drain it and rinse the pasta under cold running tap water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta drain a bit. Then add the cooked crozets pasta to the pan with the cooked bacon and onion. Season with a dash of pepper, nutmeg and salt.
- Stir the pasta and bacon well. Add half of the grated reblochon cheese.
- Stir the pasta well again. Then transfer the pasta to a baking dish and drizzle with the cream.
- Then sprinkle the pasta dish with the rest of the grated reblochon cheese. Season with a last dash of pepper and salt.
- Put the dish in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) and bake the crozets gratin for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese on top has melted nicely. Remove the hot dish from the oven and scoop the pasta bake onto deep plates. Serve hot.
What is Crozets Pasta
One of the recipe ideas I picked up in the French Haute-Savoie was crozotto. The Savoie provence was part of Italy until France annexed it in 1860. So not surprisingly pasta is well known here. Crozets is a typical Savoie pasta variety.
- made of buckwheat flour, semolina or plain flour + eggs, water and salt
- it has a typical square shape, traditionally 5mm long by 2mm thick
- the fresh pasta is dried for 48 hours at 70°C (160°F) max
It is mainly served as a side dish for red meat and (diot) sausages in wine sauce or as a pasta dish with local cheese and other ingredients such as onions, bacon and/or white wine. Other recipes: pasta salads, soups, stews, cheese gratin (croziflette).
Crozotto (Crozets Risotto)I added grated beaufort cheese and dried porcini mushrooms to my crozotto. If you can’t find porcini, add any other time of mushroom or replace it by bacon for instance. The beaufort can be replaced by cheddar cheese.
Crozotto: a French pasta ‘risotto’ with local crozets… in a creamy beaufort cheese, dried porcini mushroom and white wine sauce!
- 9 oz (250 g) crozets pasta
- 2 oz (55 g) beaufort cheese, grated
- ½ oz (16 g) dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm vegetable stock
- 1 glass dry white wine
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp onion, chopped
- olive oil
- Let the porcini mushrooms soak in some warm water for 15 minutes.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Pour some olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic and chopped onion. Season with a little pepper.
- Place the pan over medium heat and stir. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until a little soft. Then pour in the crozets pasta.
- Give it a good stir and then add the white wine.
- Bring the pasta to a light boil and let the white wine vaporize. Then little by little pour in splashes of the warm vegetable stock like you are making a risotto. Keep the pasta at a light boil. After 5 minutes add the soaked porcini mushrooms and its flavorful soaking liquid.
- Let the liquid vaporize and keep adding warm stock. Check the tenderness of the crozets. Right before it is al dente, add the grated beaufort cheese.
- Take the pan off the heat. Stir well and let the cheese melt nicely for another 2 minutes until the pasta is tender. You should end up with a gooey cheese pasta.
- Check the seasoning right before serving and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Spoon the crozotto onto deep plates and serve.
So not only the crozotto and the croziflette recipe above are typical Savoie dishes, here is another handful of delicacies that are so famous in Savoie cuisine!
Tartiflette: well, this one is very similar to the croziflette like I already mentioned before. This gratin dish contains scalloped potatoes, bacon, onions and reblochon cheese.
Polenta: believe it or not, polenta is also very well known in France! It is traditionally served as a gratin: freshly made thick polenta is added to a baking dish and topped with caramelised onions and grated cheese. Pop the whole lot under a hot grill. Instead of Italian parmesan cheese, this polenta is made with local Beaufort cheese.
Diots sausages: these fatty thick sausages contain pork mince and nutmeg. They are mainly prepared with white wine. Take a look at my diots sausages in onion and wine sauce!
Croûte au fromage: another delicious gratin! Slices or bread are topped with a local cheese like Abondance or Reblochon. There are many local versions of this dish! Sometimes the bread is soaked in white wine or a mushroom and cream sauce is added to the dish as well. Check out my version of this dish!
Are you familiar with Savoie food? French ‘cuisine savoyarde’ is well known for its cheeses. Not only the Beaufort that I used for my crozotto recipe above and the reblochon that goes into the croziflette are delicious Savoie cheeses. Here are a bunch of other popular cheese, maybe you know some or have even tasted one: Abondance, Chevrotin, Savoie Emmental, Raclette, Tome de Bauges and Tomme de Savoie. I can assure you that every single one of these cheeses are absolutely delicious. And yes, I have tasted them all! I’m crazy about cheese, how about you?
Well now we are talking about cheese, let’s take a quick look at 2 very popular cheese dishes! Raclette and fondue. Have you ever had one of them? Perhaps both? What’s your favorite? I couldn’t possibly choose between the two, I adore them so much!
Did you know that raclette is not only the name of this dish, it is also the exact name of the cheese that is used for this meal! Raclette is a semi hard cow’s milk cheese. This cheese is sold into thick slices that you have to bake separately in little pans on a hot raclette set. No need to take the crust off! Once the raclette cheese has melted nicely, pour it on top of cooked potatoes and season with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.So basically raclette consists of cheese and potatoes. Traditionally a charcuterie platter is served with it and a mixture of pickled gherkins, silver skin onions and other pickled vegetables. Serve this feast with an ice cold crisp dry Savoie white wine or a Swiss Fendant wine!
This lovely Savoie cheese fondue is one of the most popular recipes in Savoie cuisine. It consists of melted cheese and diced bread. A mixture or several cheeses are used to make a classic fondue savoyarde: comté, Beaufort and Savoie Emmental and gruyere.Nowadays ready made cheese mixes are sold in supermarkets. All you have to do is add the cheese to a large saucepan together with a little white wine and a pinch of pepper and let the cheese melt slowly over medium heat. Once the cheese has melted, pour it into a hot fondue bowl and put a flame underneath it. You can melt the cheese straight in the fondue bowl but I find that it goes much faster if you use a saucepan first.
Do you have a cheese fondue set at home, do you want to make this classic fondue from scratch? Well here is how to do it. A traditional Savoyard fondue recipe made with comté, emmental and beaufort cheeses cooked with white wine and garlic! You can use the fondue bowl or a large saucepan and pour the melted cheese in a hot fondue bowl later on.
- 1 ⅔ lbs (750 g) grated comté, emmental and beaufort cheese
- 2 fresh French baguettes, diced
- 2 cups (480 ml) dry white wine
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Slice the garlic clove in half and rub the sides of a large saucepan with it. Then get rid of the garlic.
- Pour the dry white wine in the pan and place it over medium heat. Bring the wine to a boil. Season with a pinch of pepper and nutmeg.
- Once boiling, turn the heat lower and add a handful of the grated cheese mixture to it. Stir well using a wooden spoon and let the cheese melt. Don’t let the cheese boil, keep it to a light simmer.
- Gradually add more handfuls of the grated cheese. Keep stirring well. The cheese sauce should become thicker but it should still be runny enough.
- Once all the cheese is melted, take the pan off the heat and pour the melted cheese sauce in a warm fondue bowl over a large flame. Dip the diced bread in the melted cheese and enjoy!