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. And because our rental apartment has this fully equipped kitchen I am ready to start cooking some local specialty dishes!Off we go to the local supermarket to buy lovely diot sausages, dried porcini 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 croziflette dish look very much like another French classic, tartiflette: a potato gratin with scalloped potatoes, bacon, onions and reblochon cheese.
I grated the reblochon cheese and then added some leftover cheddar also. Because 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 croziflette 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!
So here’s my croziflette recipe then: a French pasta bake with local crozets, bacon and reblochon cheese. One of my favorite French Alps mountain dishes!
- 12,5 oz crozets pasta (350 g)
- 5,5 oz salted bacon (155 g), diced
- 7 oz reblochon cheese (200 g), grated
- ½ cup cream (120 ml)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 medium garlic clove chopped
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
Fill a large pan with water and add a pinch of salt. Place the pan over high heat until boiling. Then add the crozets pasta.
Boil the pasta for about 8 minutes or until the pasta rises to the surface. Don’t overcook it! In the meantime add the butter to a large non-stick pan and place it over medium heat until melted. Then add the chopped onion, garlic and 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 remaining 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. Then remove the hot dish from the oven and scoop the pasta bake onto deep plates. Serve hot.
Croziflette! But 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
The French mainly serve it 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 type of mushroom or replace it by bacon for instance. And you can add cheddar cheese instead of the beaufort cheese.
Crozotto: a French pasta ‘risotto’ with local crozets… in a creamy beaufort cheese, dried porcini mushroom and white wine sauce!
Crozotto: a French pasta 'risotto' with cheese, porcini mushroom and white wine!
- 9 oz crozets pasta (250 g)
- 2 oz beaufort cheese (55 g), grated
- ½ oz dried porcini mushrooms (16 g)
- 1 cup vegetable stock (240 ml), warm
- 1 240 ml dry white wine
- 2 small garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tbsp onion chopped
- olive oil
Let the porcini mushrooms soak in warm water for about 15 minutes until rehydrated.
Pour some olive oil in a large saucepan. Then add the chopped garlic and onion. Season with a little pepper.
Place the pan over medium heat until hot. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until a little soft. Then add 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 add splashes of warm vegetable stock like you're making a risotto. 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.
- Thne 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. Then scoop the crozotto onto deep plates and serve.
So not only the crozotto and the croziflette recipe above are typical Savoie dishes, here’s 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 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! Bread slices topped with local cheese like Abondance or Reblochon, grilled until golden. There are many local versions of this dish! Some soak the bread in white wine first or add a mushroom and cream sauce to the dish also. 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 used for this meal! Raclette is a semi hard cow’s milk cheese. You can buy this cheese in thick slices that you have to bake separately in little pans on a hot raclette set. No need to take the crusts off! Once the raclette cheese has melted nicely, then 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. You traditionally serve it with a charcuterie platter and a mixture of pickled gherkins, silver skin onions and other pickled vegetables on the side. Perfect wine pairing for this cheese feast? 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. You eat this melted cheese with diced bread you dip in it suing a metal fondue skewer. Interested in making your own classic fondue savoyarde? Use a mixture of these 3 cheeses: comté, Beaufort and Savoie Emmental. You can also add gruyere cheese.Nowadays you can find ready made cheese mixes in a lot of supermarkets. All you have to do is add the cheese to a large saucepan together with a little drop of white wine and a pinch of pepper and let the cheese melt slowly over medium heat. Once the cheese has melted, then 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 cheese 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.
A classic Savoyard fondue recipe with 3 cheeses, white wine and garlic!
- 1 ⅔ lbs grated cheese (750 g), comté, emmental and beaufort
- 2 fresh French baguettes diced
- 2 cups dry white wine (480 ml)
- 1 small garlic clove peeled
Slice the garlic 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 until boiling. 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.
- Then 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!