The Savoie region has its’ own speciality pasta called Crozets. These are small pieces of pasta typically flat and square. This pasta was traditionally made at home by the housewife using wheat or buckwheat and a mixture of both. Les Crozets first appeared in the Savoie in Tarentaise in the 17th Century and if we go back even further the Crozetos were mentioned in a 14th Century Italian cookbook that was widely distributed in France. The Crozetos were originally a small round shape made with the fingertip as the name comes from a cut made with the fingertip in the pasta dough.
The recipe has not been changed, it is still made either with wheat flour or a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flour mixed with eggs, salt and water. The Crozets dough is spread onto a flat surface to dry slowly for 48 hours at a temperature not exceeding 70º C, this helps to retain the flavours of the ingredients. The dough is now mechanically cut into small 5mm squares that are 2mm thick. Crozet is not referred to as pasta because of the flour used in making them.
Cooking with Crozets
Crozets are a delicious alternative to pasta and are very easy to cook. Normally cooked in salted water for 20 minutes. Crozets are great served with onions sautéed in butter and a grated cheese stirred through, normally a local Savoie hard cheese; Tomme or Beaufort. They are a good accompaniment for meats and local Savoyarde dishes like Diots in white wine. Also great as a gratin with cream or crème fraîche and bacon lardons and covered with cheese. I have seen on several local menus a ‘Croziflette’ where the Crozets are substituted for the potatoes but all the other ingredients in the tartiflette remain the same. Crozets are good served in salads too.
I recently bought the Chanterelles flavoured Crozets and made a gratin having sautéed the forestière mushrooms with garlic in butter and stirring them into the cooked hot pasta then grated Beaufort cheese over and melted under the grill.
all photos are copyright ©Caro Blackwell
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